It’s sad, I know, but I hate Christmas. Well, it’s not actually Christmas I hate, it’s what it has become. I hate the stress it brings. I’m pretty sure that when Jesus was born, the idea of Christmas wasn’t to go out and buy every toy in the store for our kids, just to have them sit in a corner and never be played with.
It starts somewhere around July, I begin thinking, “I should be buying Christmas presents, it’s going to get here fast and I wont be ready”. Every year it gets here and I’m not ready. The stress rules too, because of it I can’t even enjoy the decorations, putting up the tree just frustrates me and makes me grumpy. It’s all about the money and it shouldn’t be.
What a disappointment this must be to God. The whole gift-giving concept has been turned into an obsessive, idolatrous hunger for self serving desires pleasing to the flesh only to fade away on December 26th. When, in truth the concept of gift giving was born as a result of the birth of the ultimate and perfect gift of eternal life!
Let’s take it a step farther. santa claus. We tell our children that this fat guy in red breaks into our homes and leaves these gifts. Superficially this sounds cute and exciting and oh so much fun. But… let’s take a moment and think about how “santa” makes Jesus feel. It’s Jesus’s birthday, the gift is about HIM and what He has done for all of us but instead we give all the credit to santa claus. Not to mention the fact that we tell our kids that santa is real and then one day they find out he’s not. What kind of cruel, pathetic joke is this?! This revelation is often times devastating to most kids. I know of one child who clung to his mom and sobbed for hours when he found out there was no santa claus. If we lie about santa then maybe we’re lying about Jesus too, that is if we are parents who teach our children who Jesus is.
So, what do we do about this? How can I get through the season not so stressed out but instead have the peace that Christmas is meant to bring? As I think about what the concept of gift-giving means to the One who created it, I realize that maybe it’s not about spending a dime. Quite possibly, it’s more about a feeling or an attitude. Maybe the gifts that God wants to see us giving are the gifts of kindness, love, hope, and thankfulness. The movie, Pay It Forward, comes to mind. Let’s change how we think of Christmas one person at a time. Do something for someone in need, give a smile, be kind, give your time. After all, it often seems as though these gifts are the hardest to give. If we spent as much time instilling these values in our children instead of shopping and trying to cover for santa claus, the true meaning of CHRISTmas might emerge and create in people the peace and renewed hope that is the very definition of what Christmas is.
Spell it out, don’t X Him out- it’s CHRISTmas not Xmas!!
The story of Christmas: Matthew 1 and 2, Luke 2
The first gift ever given was meant for you, will you accept it?