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Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Christmas... Without all the Crap

My wife (Pepper) and I were with a group of friends recently when I said "I hate Christmas". Well, I know that's what I said but not actually quite what I meant. So, In the following paragraphs I'll try to clarify my feelings on this subject.

I'll first off mention that this conversation was taking place 1 week before the Thanksgiving holiday. Boy I LOVE Thanksgiving! Not just because of a four-day weekend, football, or event the excuse to overeat. Thanksgiving to me, is like Christmas... without all the crap. Think about it. Even the annual cartoons on television will focus on being thankful and surrounded with those you love. Even giving. We share a meal together (which is a special thing). Many cultures would consider the sharing of a meal as the most intimate and precious thing people can do together. It represents the sharing of that which sustains life.

Unfortunately, for many of us, in less than a week we shifted our focus from what am I thankful for to ... what do I want. I guess this is what I hate about what Christmas has become in our society. The world around us focuses on not being "shown up" by someone who buys a cooler or more expensive gift than them or focuses on a fat guy in a fur coat who can magically sneak into our homes at night and eat our food (kinda creepy when you think of it... huh).

I would like to pose a challenge. My challenge is to treat Christmas like Thanksgiving. Focus on what you've been given (a savior, unconditional love from a holy father, grace, etc) rather than what you will get or even what you will give. Whenever those around you are talking aobut Christmas spirit, mention the real spirit behind Christmas. Celebrate Christmas without all the crap.

I'm taking the challeng. Will you?



Brannon said...

God bless the Sweet Little 8 lbs. 6 oz. Baby Jesus, new born in His manger, not even spoken a word yet. Nothing says Christmas like that... except maybe an elf who pulls monster teeth.

JC said...

Brannon obviously found a copy of the movie he's been looking for.

ToniQue said...

I am TOTALLY up for the challenge. I'm sure the celebration of Christ's birth should have absolutely nothing to do with "Holiday Sales" so we don't offend any atheists and security guards being trampled to death by people spending tons of money on stuff they probably don't need.

Morbid...I know. But look how far Christmas has fallen away from the words to the song "Silent Night".

Candice said...

I am totally there with you. As a child I remember loving Christmas. Ond't get me wrong, I liked the presents, but I what I remember loving about Christmas was Christmas Eve. My family would go to church and sing beautiful Christmas hymns by candel light. We would go home sit together in the living room with just the Christmas lights on. My sister and I would sing and then my dad would read the Christmas story. We would pray together and then just talk. We talked openly together as a family about the past year, the coming year, what was on our hearts, and so on. To me, Christmas Eve (without the gifts) felt more like what Christmas is suppose to be then the actual day itself. My husband and I have carried this into our own family and our daughter recently told me that Christmas Eve is her favorite part about Christmas. I hope that we can make Christmas Eve a way of life. Praises to Jesus, Reading His Word, Time with the Family, and openness and honesty with each other.

carikelley said...

I'm totally up for the challenge. I'm not crazy about Christmas either b/c of what it's become...stuff, stuff, stuff. Where's the baby Jesus? on the mantel? that's not good enough!

To combat this in our house, we read some special Christmas stories every year and then we write our own story in a Christmas journal that we use every year. Those are the funnest stories to read--about how special our family is!

But if you've never read The Best Christmas Pageant Ever, you should this year. It's LOL funny and makes you see the Christmas story in a whole new way.


JC - Thank you for your insightful reminder. .John & I said that we were not going to get caught up in all the "Got-to-have-it/give-it" business...and low and behold - where do I find myself on Black Friday - at a department store at the crack of dawn - buying things to check people off my list.

I read your blog and realized that I got sucked into all the madness slyly vailed as the "Christmas Season".

Thank you for reminding me what we need to value this season. - Angel