Monday, November 02, 2009

Ready or Not, Christmas is Coming.

Well, we have passed Halloween, so it seems that the Christmas preparation season is "game on."  As I sat this morning trying to figure out how to juggle money to pay the first of the month bills, I began to shudder at the thought of the costs of Christmas.  Gotta buy a few gifts; there's the added cost to the electric bill for decorations; charitable requests, unpaid time off from work, and the list goes on.  Then I began to ruminate on how one can be expected to enjoy Christmas -- to be "merry', to celebrate and rejoice -- when one cannot possibly fully participate in the annual "traditions" of spend, spend, and spend.  Then, of course, I began to reflect of the true meaning of Christmas -- while it is about the giving and receiving of gifts, it doesn't necessarily mean the giving and receiving of the newest, most expensive, biggest, most popular stuff.  The greatest gift was given centuries ago, and that gift is still a source of joy, strength, peace, and hope to all who take the time to receive it -- that gift is the human manifestation of the grace and love of God.  So--much as my worldly self is stewing about what Christmas 2009 is going to look like here -- I will be celebrating the joy, peace, hope, and love of God made real in our lives.  There may not be much under the tree, and the decorations may be a little less than usual (though with Ben in the house, I expect a lot of decorations), but the spirit of Christmas will be alive and well.  My wish for all of you is that you keep a sense of balance and recognize that Christmas is not just a day, but a way of life.  As you ski down the slope of Christmas prep, keep a sense of balance and take time to not only give, but to live the Spirit of Christmas.


Ur-spo said...

I wish I had your cheer
When I think of Christmas coming, all I get is dread; for the obligations to do and the surge of drama at work.

Lemuel said...

Such is the schizophrenia that any of us have who take the deeper message of the holiday to heart yet who must live in this materialistic and commercialized world. Every year I have promised myself that "this year will be better", but for the most part it is not.

It was the Christmas after the last of my parents had died and I felt that intense loneliness of being without them coupled with economic circumstances that left me nearly penniless - it was *that* Christmas that came closest to being the happiest, most fulfilling Christmas in my life.