And So It Begins

Black Friday has become Black Weekend. Scores of deals enticing shoppers to forego logic and join the throngs of other deal seekers for the best-priced Christmas gifts.

Cyber Monday is upon us. We can shop till we drop from the comfort of our armchairs. Taking occasional breaks for our flying fingers as they find online treasures.

Christmas crazy has begun.

I truly love this time of year–sans the crazy. There’s a mellowness among many that lends itself more toward good humor and lightheartedness than during other holidays. We have no snow, but having learned to do hot and humid well, I’m ok with that.

The younger grands have hit the season of seeing desirable things on commercials and randomly calling out, “I want that.” “Can I get that?” As a young parent, I genuinely thought those were toys of choice.

Closets full of junk taught me otherwise.

A tradition for our family is procuring a tree the day after Thanksgiving. That small act kicks off the holidays.

I can’t ever decide which tree is best. Groans of “C’mon, Mom” and “That’s awesome. Get it”, punctuate our traipsing around the lot.

We went to a new tree lot this year, one where all the proceeds go to a youth group–a tree-finding mission and giving to a good cause.

Best. Experience. Ever.

Well, maybe not the best. It wasn’t chopping down our own tree in a foot of snow, like we did in Wisconsin. But it was close.

The sun had set, a fire was crackling in a precisely placed pit, and friendly folks walked around asking if they could help.

Like a great big warm piney hug.

I could have walked around for a long time, speculating on which tree would be the best.

There just weren’t that many trees.

And I found one I loved quickly.

Everyone was shocked. Pleasantly.

Once home, we decorated almost immediately.

That never happens.

Traditions are being upended everywhere.

Traditions are not set in cement.

Christmas is.

Even as holiday preparations ramp up, as the frenzy of shopping increases and baking expectations escalate, it’s easy to lose sight of what this season is all about. Why it’s significantly different from the commercial perspective.

It’s the historical reality of the birth of Jesus, whose entrance into our world has impacted history for over 2,000 years. Whose existence dramatically changed life for people then.

And now.

Many would love to remove the spiritual implications from this holiday. Make it all about Santa, elves, and mistletoe, altruistic gift giving and end-of-the-year generosity.

There’s nothing wrong with Santa or giving.

Truth, however, has a remarkable way of making itself known.

God provided a way for people to know Him personally–He became one of us. He entered our world, leaving the glory of heaven behind so He could let us know His passion for us.

He didn’t want heaven without us.

That Baby, born in humble surroundings, growing up with limited means, understands us better than we do.

Because of love.

That truth is so much better than tradition.










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