Well if you are like most of us at this time,
- The tree is up. Check!
- The house is decorated. Check!
- The cookies are baked. Check!
- The shopping is done or just about done. Check!
- And presents are wrapped and under the tree. Check!
Or maybe you are one of those who are waiting for the last minute to do just about everything. In fact, Good Morning America said as of today, 4 days out from Christmas, only 30% of the people are ready and done. So let’s key in the stress factor here. Getting down to the wire will heat up tempers and attitudes and dread. As we get closer, you will be buying because you have to and want to get it over with and probably spending more than you want because you are getting down to the wire. And most likely that old “guilt” shopping will occur or you will use your trusty gage of “Well last year, they got me a ______, so this year I am getting them ______”.
What we have created is celebrating what I call “The Culture of Christmas”. And most of us have fully bought into it or some of us have shut down and are choosing to do nothing at all. One of the things that is now becoming symbolic of Christmas is the bombardment of advertisements, round the clock open Malls, and sales after sales after sales….and the dreaded continuous Hallmark Christmas movies.
Those movies are becoming my growing pet peeve because they start the day after Halloween on the Hallmark channel. And there are several things you can be guaranteed with these cookie cutter movies:
- Everybody meets and falls in love in a couple days or weeks and lives happily ever after.
- Every movie ends with a kiss while the snowflakes begin to fall around them.
- The same music sound track occurs in every movie.
- There are no black people or people of color unless they, of course, are supporting actors to the main couple. Heaven forbid we can coexist in a movie with a major role.
- Everybody in the movie celebrates the culture of Christmas and believes in the magic of Christmas. In fact, when the Christmas story is read, it is “The Night Before Christmas”.
Ugh!!!!!! Enough already! Bah Humbug! Is there any wonder why people are depressed this time of year? We get media hype on what Christmas should look like, how families should celebrate, and over exposure on the fabulous gifts everyone should be buying and receiving.
What people are missing is the absolute certainty of the season and that it is we are celebrating the birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ! He is the reason for this season of celebrating. He and he alone! Everything else is trimmings which should be pointing to the acknowledgement of His gift to the world. He is our most precious gift. For you see He was born so that we might have the gift of eternal life. He offers us that gift. Yet, it is a gift some of us refuse to accept, refuse to open, or even acknowledge. And if you feel I am overusing the word “gift”, you are absolutely right. It is intentional. For you see this is a very big deal. Celebrating Christmas must include “the Savior” somewhere in the season. Otherwise, we are merely celebrating today’s present day “Culture of Christmas”.
As far as I am concerned, there is no war on Christmas. I am not in a tizzy over a red cup or if someone says to me “Happy Holidays”. Christ is not confined to a word or a decoration on a cup. He is a living Savior, and accepting him in that role results in a lifestyle that we, as believers, must be exhibiting to those around us. The only message we seem to be showing the world is we get irate over words and decorations. That is not who we are! Come on people! What I am more concerned with is, “Are you telling everyone about the Good News of our Savior’s birth”? Are you sharing “His light” in this ever increasingly dark world? That He offers us a gift of hope and eternal life? Are you showing some others His love this season?
Have you done something for someone less fortunate than you lately? Is your heart moved by the poverty, sadness, loneliness of others around you? Have you exhibited any of Christ’s qualities (if you are a believer) to others around you? Are you doing your part to love your brother like yourself? Are you feeling some people are not worthy or deserving of our love because we feel they are out to hurt us? Well guess what? We don’t show love because it makes us feel good. We show love because He first loved us and He commands us to love others. Yes, even those who we feel are unworthy of receiving it.
When you sit down this Christmas season, open your Bible, turn to Luke 2:1-20 and tell this world what Christmas truly is about. It’s all there! Waiting to be unwrapped, opened and shared with everyone around you! You don’t have to look far to find someone to share it with. In fact, some of us can start with our friends and family.
Merry Christmas my friends and Peace on Earth Goodwill toward “all” men! Not just those you like, those who look like you, or even those who agree with you. But Peace toward “all”.