Christmas Shopping, Really?

Posted: December 2, 2011 in Uncategorized
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Some people love Christmas shopping, not me. Some people love the crowded streets and people in irritable moods and the long lines, and the high prices, not me. Some people love the process of figuring out what to buy for everyone, not me. No, I am not a scrooge, unless that is linked to people making obscene gestures at you because they are tired of waiting for a parking spot. No, I am not a grinch unless that is tied to not wanting to spend the rest of the year paying off credit cards for gifts you bought to say, “I love you,” but that got returned the day after CHristmas.

I love family coming together. I love the smiles on children’s faces when they open the gifts from under the tree. I love the ease of the internet to order something. I love the beauty of the Christmas tree. I love the carols. It is not Christmas that I hate, just Christmas shopping. Every year we talk about shopping all year long, but never do. All year I think about a Christmas savings account, but never seem to manage. Each year the day after Christmas, I resolve to do it differently the next year.

Growing up was easy. We had one family, with one tradition, and we shared it together. But then you get married, and now there are two families and two traditions to try and squeeze into the same time frame. And then your children get married, and the math gets over my head to figure out the permutations of possibilities. Christmas seems to come faster each year. Christmas seems a little more complicated each year. And then, like this year, Christmas falls on Christmas. Imagine the frustration of trying to squeeze Jesus back into the equation for Christmas.

But there is the matter. What if? Seriously, what if? What if we stopped and remembered that there is a reason behind the season. What if we suddenly realized that is not just “Happy Holidays”, what a misnomer for most. Suppose we stopped and thought, angels announced the birth of a veruy special child. Suppose we remember that a Virgin named Mary and her soon to be husband Joseph, made their way to Bethlehem to register for the census of Caesar, and that in a stable behind a crowded inn, Mary gave birth to a baby she named Jesus. Suppose we remember that shepherds keeping their flocks saw a host of angels announcing “Good News of a Great Joy for all people.” Suppose we actually understood that born on that first Christmas night was a Messiah, a Savior, the Christ. One who humbled Himself of the glory of God and became a man, and ultimately died on a cross as payment for our sins.

What might happen in our lives if we truly comprehended that God so loved the world, that He gave His one and only unique son as Savior? Maybe the greatest gifts we could give are not found while shopping in crowded malls. The greatest gift, like the little drummer boy discovered, is to give ourself, our talents, our time, our treasures back to the God who loved us enough to give the most important gift. Maybe we could learn to share that gift with the rest of the world. Even though it has been said so very many times before, let’s remember the reason for the season.

Others can have their holidays. Other faiths, other groups, celebrate your day. Christmas is about the Christ, Jesus who is Lord. God bless you and Merry Christmas.

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