Monday, December 10, 2012

True meaning of Christmas


We are bustling about trying "to get ready for Christmas".  I have a list (and I'm checking it twice) as I am sure are you.  Those lists include such things as what gifts I have purchased for whom, all the gifts I have yet to purchase (I go over this one a lot), and then there are the cards, stamps, wrapping paper, grocery lists (don't forget the batteries), the calendar with all the cookie exchanges, appetizers for this party and desserts for that one, hostess gifts and on and on it goes.  For some of us the list includes Christmas Ever service at church - which then begs the question of what everyone in our family will wear, getting it purchased, cleaned and ironed and if your kids are little getting them to put it on.  My son once spent half of Christmas Eve  upstairs because he refused to wear his nice shoes.  It is something just short of chaos.  I didn't even mention school Christmas parties, plays and events.

Several years ago, I decided that I just wasn't going to get too worked up about Christmas anymore.   I put my tree up each year, no longer worrying about what day I get it up.  If I get my cards out, wonderful.  If not, I am thankful we live in an age of texting and Facebook and other tools that insure I will not lose touch with the people I care about.  If I forget a gift, well I will give that person a big hug and a smile and send them a nice birthday gift, after all I don't think any of us really need anything.  I have even shown up at cookie exchanges with no cookies.  I don't get to take any home, but no one at my house really needs any cookies, and I still get to have fellowship with my friends - stress free. So, I dare you to just cross one thing off that list, just one.  Take a deep breath and let go.

This is supposed to be a time when we reflect on the birth of Jesus Christ.  Jesus did not stand for chaos and stress and maxed out credit cards.  He came that we might have peace and hope and eternal life.  Christmas should be a time when we are thankful - thankful for each person we have on our list, for family gatherings and the abundance we have.   One last thing.  Go to youtube.com and search for singing Christmas carols at the mall.  There are several.  Do not miss this opportunity to smile and remember what Christmas is really about.

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