Well it’s cold, the ground is covered in snow, the winter tires have been put on the cars and when I enter stores I am surrounded by crazy shoppers. It’s almost time for the holidays and Christmas. I’m not sure why I have a love-hate relationship with Christmas time. It’s not like I had a terribly childhood or some tragic event that I am being reminded of. It’s actually quite the opposite, I have great memories of family Christmas at the farm. From the hours building snow forts, to the annual Christmas Eve time of opening those loot bags from Church services, to the anticipation of Christmas morning, there was always much to be thankful for and to remember. So now I’m a father, with two wonderful girls, it’s suppose to be my turn to build those same memories into my own family, my turn to put up the ridiculous amount of lights on the tree, the house, the everything and I just don’t feel excited about it. Oh, I am excited to see Libby’s face Christmas morning and to snuggle up with her and read the Christmas story and to teach her about why Jesus coming to earth is so very important. But all that other stuff, I’m just not ready for it, or even wanting it.
Sure everyone keeps telling me, “You’re a Scrooge”, “Ba humbug to you”, “Where’s your Christmas Spirit?” And frankly, I’m getting rather sick of it. In fact, those comments probably make it worse. I have Christmas spirit, I want to show and teach to my family and to others what really matters at Christmas. Does my house really need to be visible from a radar image for me to “have Christmas spirit?.” Even Christmas trees and all the decorations and dare I say it, even the many nativity scenes around…. is this all there is too it? Decorate, give some socially conscientious presents, eat way too much food, sing a carol or two and call it another Christmas season? I think we’ve ALL missed the mark somehow. I think that’s why I don’t enjoy all the preparations. And yes, I have thought this for awhile and I’ve done nothing to change. Shame on me. But shame on all of us for letting Christmas simply get out of hand. I mean, my Savior came down to earth in a very humble manner. He choose a stable, a barn, the most humble surroundings to arrive. And how do we choose to celebrate? Big events, tons of decorations, hours shopping for gifts and let’s be honest, gift cards, for others that don’t need anything at all. Doesn’t anyone else find this to be, well, strange?
Well, I’m telling you this all so that people will quit saying I have no Christmas spirit, but also as a form of accountability. This Christmas I am going to do something different. Instead of just complaining I’m going to seek out different ways to celebrate and I’m going to look for humble ways to do that. For starters, this year Christmas day is actually open for just my family to do whatever we want, no gatherings for either side. So we are looking for a place to go and serve others, humbly serve those in need. So if anyone has an idea for a place a family of 4 with 2 small Children can go to serve on Dec 25th, I’d love to hear your suggestions.
Other ways I’m going to change, well, I’m not sure. Don’t think I can get away without any decorations, as my wife might shoot me, but I do want to do something different. Ideas?
PS. I still haven’t started listening to Christmas music yet. Ugh. And the picture is just for Jess