Thanksgiving wasn’t even over before the sales began. And with Christmas coming so quickly on the heels of the gratitude holiday, I promised myself I wouldn’t be sucked into the holiday crazies. The seasonal pressure that’s been telescoped down too far for consumer comfort.
The bins and boxes have come out with the Christmas accoutrements. Their contents lay strewn over the family room, looking for places to be.
I look back at them, wishing somehow they’d find their own places without help from me.
The calendar calls. I’m not sure why everyone feels the need to plan a year’s worth of parties and celebrations in a three week period, but it happens annually. The Christmas Crush. The holiday hoopla.
I visited the local town center with two of my girls on a day I swore I wouldn’t be there. Shoppers were waiting outside stores, waiting for people to leave so there’d be space for them inside.
Is anything really worth that?
What a statement.
People were flocking around them, having their pictures taken with these two icons of Christmas. I was able to help a lady out by getting her picture with the pair and her small daughter.
The daughter couldn’t take her eyes off the Grinch.
If we can get past the fa-la-la-la-la, the stories behind these two are strikingly similar.
Santa is the quintessential giver. The jolly man who loves kids of all ages. Who gives out of the goodness of his heart. (I don’t believe he has a naughty list.)
The Grinch is the dude with the heart two sizes too small who finds redemption in the real love of Christmas. In learning that people are more important than things.
It’s what we all want our Christmas to be about. The joy of giving because we have been given so much. Choosing to see that the people in our lives are more important than the things. The craziness of the shopping and baking and decorating and partying is driven by an economy that thrives when we get so overwhelmed with what is that we don’t sit back and make good choices about what we want to be.
I proceeded to walk about the town center, however, not bathed in the beauty of that thought. Not relishing the wonder of what Christmas is really about.
I groused about the crowds keeping me from being at the front of the line I wanted to be in. I gritched about the fact that prices weren’t really all that good in spite of the hype. And I grumbled about all I still had to do.
Ho ho ho.
I need to focus on the real Giver. The true Lover of my heart. He gave in a way that met every possible need I could ever have.
“For God loved the world so much that He gave His one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16
This season, this life, is a blip in eternity. Getting bent out of shape over something that doesn’t have eternal value isn’t a wise use of my time.
Seriously, Jesus is where it all begins.