Ten days, seventeen hours, and five minutes.
Let me guess: you didn't even have to look and see what day I'm referring to.
So what was your first thought when you saw that countdown to Christmas? Excitement? Joy? Dread? Apathy? Disgust?
My first thought was definitely: "Holy poop, Christmas is in ten days."
My second thought was confusing, especially in comparison to my first: "Let's get it over with!"
|Photo credit: Flikr - greyloch|
You see, I used to love Christmas. Like every kid, I loved presents. But now, I don't even know what I want for Christmas most of the time (hence this post). And yet, I'm told that there's much more to this holiday season than gifts. But I just don't see it.
Instead, here's what I see:
Commercialism. Selfishness. Materialism. Greedy spirits. Fighting and bickering among loved ones. A supposed "war" on Christmas.
Meanwhile, I'm left scratching my head, unsure of what Jesus has to do with any of this. Heck, I wonder if Jesus has any clue we're counting down to his big birthday bash with the way we act around this time of year.
Sure, charitable giving goes up. We're all excited to lend a helping hand to anyone who asks. But when it comes down to it, if things don't go our way, we're "bahhumbug"-ing the entire way through and could care less about those who are truly in need.
It's all insanity, and I don't understand it. Heck, I'm even a part of it!
We've taken something so simple, and yet so beautiful, and turned it into a monster. Frankenstein's got nothin' on the beast that we've created called "Christmas" (or as several people like to deem it around this time of year, "CHRISTmas"). No matter how you capitalize it, Jesus has nothing to do with what we're doing down here on December 25th.
Sadly, there is a war on Christmas going on. But it has little to do with retail and department stores. And it has absolutely nothing to do with whether you say "Merry Christmas" or "Happy holidays."
Truth be told, if you're "fighting" the "war" espoused by the media around this time of year, then chances are, you're on the wrong side.
The real war on Christmas is a one-sided affair, and most of us are losing the battle.
Christmas isn't lost, though.
I see it when people gather simply to be together, with no pretense of "gathering for the holidays" (and by "holidays," I mean presents).
I see it as people share the Christmas story with their families from the Bible.
I see it when people give more than they are able to, because someone needs food or a home, and not just because we're worried they "won't have a Christmas."
Fight for Christmas this year, and remember what it's truly about.
Question: What excites you most about Christmas? What's your favorite holiday tradition around this time of year? How are you working to remember what Christmas is truly about?