With Thanksgiving over, now we begin the countdown to Christmas. There are so many things to take care of; shopping, wrapping, cooking, party planning, the church Christmas play, and sending Christmas cards. Plus, the array of festive Christmas cookies that everyone expects you to bake, frost and decorate.
Even if you manage to avoid the Black Friday crowds, there will be crowds from now until Christmas. So many gifts to buy. So many people to see. So many places to go. And, of course we must maintain a wonderful holiday spirit through it all. We get so caught up in the hustle and bustle, that we forget what we are celebrating.
Christmas is meant to be a day set apart to celebrate the birth of Jesus. He came as a little baby in a manger. He was surrouned by barn animals and smelly stalls. They couldn’t even find a small corner in the inn where our Savior could be born. We all know the story with the cows and sheep sharing the barn with the most precious gift that was ever given to the world.
The angels sang, “Joy to the World” and “Glory to God in the Highest”. They rejoice in the coming of the Lord. They sang of “Peace on Earth and Good Will Toward Men”. They experience joy unspeakable and full of glory. We speak of Christmas dinner, Uncle Joe’s bad attitude, presents, presents, and more presents. What has happened to us?
We have taken our focus off of Jesus and placed it on ourselves. We want more ham and sweet potatoes, more presents, and to win the arguement with Uncle Joe. Let’s hurry through the gifts without knowledging the giver. Let’s fight over the best seat to watch TV all afternoon or better still take a nap.
What would happened if we changed Christmas back to its original state? No shopping, no wrapping, no cookies, no parties, and no stress, would be the norm. We could exchange small tokens of love with friends and family; a jar of homemade jam, a crocheted rug, a hand made birdhouse. And we would talk about Jesus and sing about Jesus, and tell stories about Jesus.
What would happen if you only bought one gift for each person on your list? Or better, yet, make them a gift. My niece always makes me her special peanut butter fudge. I would rather have that than anything she could buy me. I’m no good at making fudge and hers comes out perfect every time.
How can we tone down the commercialism of the holiday? How can we recapture it’s true meaning? When will we realize what are the important things in life? Let’s make a real effort to KEEP CHRIST IN CHRISTMAS.