Monday, December 17, 2012

My Heart at Christmas {re-post}

I love Christmas.

And I struggle with Christmas.

What?

I love the trees, the music, the lights, the merry making.

I hate the "Christmas v. Xmas v. Happy Holidays" debate.  I hate the rush to buy over-priced gadgets for our already spoiled children.  I hate how we ignore those with less because we "need" more (or newer).

I hate trying to find the balance between what I think Christmas is about--the birth of Christ--and what Christmas really seems to be about--presents!

Sometimes I look around me and feel like we all missed the point of The Grinch Who Stole Christmas.  I mean, it's cute to say that Christmas would feel like Christmas without the presents and music and trees--but would it?

Think about that, are you willing to give up one Christmas holiday to prove that you can be joyous and merry without the tree and shopping and wrapping and food?

I'd wager to say most of us would say no.

I'm certain we are so embedded into the commercial Christmas mentality that we can't imagine the holiday any. other. way.

We wouldn't dare try it because when it comes down to it, Christmas doesn't mean something more.  Christmas really does come from a store.

Source
I read on The Land of La La that the picture above will be a HUGE, EXPENSIVE billboard in New York this season.  It makes me mad.  It makes me sad.  But the truth is that from the outside, Christians celebrate Christmas the exact same way Atheists do.  We celebrate ourselves, our status, our materials ... we forget Jesus (except for during the Christmas Eve service because, by golly, we can't let a Christmas Day service get in the way of all the important present unwrapping ...).

How do we convince non-Christians that our God is big and mighty and that this season is about Him when WE can't even convince ourselves of the same thing?  How do we convince them that HE is enough we WE don't believe HE is enough?

For years I've struggled with Christmas--not because I'm a Scrooge but because I'm a Grinch.  I need someone to show me that Christmas doesn't come from a store.  That it's about giving and helping and heart and Jesus.

Now I know Christians will flock to church during the holiday and they'll help in food kitchens and give to charities ... but what about in January?  What about in July?  Is there a Christian out there who is willing to skip commercial Christmas to encourage a socially just world?  Will we give up a gift to help the man on the side of the road?

When we had M.E. Matt and I decided we would, minimally, do things different.  We tell her all about Santa--about how he is a FICTITIOUS man who lives at the North Pole but how real gifts come from generous hearts (Yes, that's right.  She believes in Jesus not Santa. *gasp*). We sing about Frosty but more often we sing to Jesus. 

But I always wish I could do more.

And this is where I'm heading ...


What I think about Christmas is that if Christians want people to think the holiday is more about Jesus than gifts, than it is time for Christians to make Christmas more about Jesus than gifts.