“When we were children we were grateful to those who filled our stockings at Christmastime. Why are we not grateful to God for filling our stockings with legs?” Gilbert K. Chesterton
Light peeked into my room from the rising sun. The dog and baby were still asleep. My right leg ached for some reason. Don’t know why. Thoughts racing through my mind. . .
I was wide awake now, just laying there thinking, assessing, evaluating where I was, what is going on. . . It’s the Christmas season. Every where I look there are decorations on lawns, commercials with their offerings, sales, etc.
As I pondered life, the season, the meaning of all of this, a song popped into my mind: “Tis the season to be jolly; Fa, la, la, la, la, la, la, la, la. . . silly thought. Hadn’t thought of this for years, why now?
Then I remembered a conversation my husband overheard standing in line at the store the other day: Two young women were discussing buying gifts. One of them said, “I borrowed a $1000 to buy gifts for my kids.” The other one said, “Maybe I should do a personal loan.” “Oh, no, I borrowed that from a family member. The only problem they will be expecting me to buy them a gift.”
Soon one thought began to emerge: the reason. What is this time of year all about? Is it about gift giving, or the gift that has been given? The bible does say, “It’s better to give than to receive,” doesn’t it? And giving is escalated during this time of year, isn’t it?
This made me think of Xmas and Christmas. Well, what is the difference? It means you can celebrate Xmas with gift giving without acknowledging the gift that has been given . . . Christmas.
I did that for years. So what changed? I discovered that after the lists, the visits to the stores to shop till I dropped, the decorations of the tree, the yard, the songs and the greeting cards it never seemed to have a happy ending after all the gifts were given and unwrapped.
“Wait! Does that mean I should abandon the gift giving during this season? My children have been conditioned to receive, so what do I do?”
No, not at all. Isaiah 9: 6,7 is a reminder: “For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor …” Later in Matthew 1:23: “Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.”
Getting from Xmas to Christmas can be challenging after years of seasonal habits, but it’s possible. Let it not be about just the gifts, make it a celebration, giving thanks for the gifts given and those received.
Spend sometime watching a video of the real reason for the season; have a family discussion. Enjoy some music that speaks of the gift that has been given.
Choosing to celebrate Christmas instead of Xmas is a step toward preventing the holiday blues. Turning to the real reason for the season makes for a more fulfilling ending and makes it all worth the celebration.
Will you celebrate Xmas or Christmas?
Let me know what you think.
Keep the faith,
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