Bah hum bug.
I have a confession to make.
I am a scrooge when it comes to Christmas.
Well you see, it’s not that I don’t like Christmas- it’s just that I don’t like how Christmas seems to somehow always get lost.
Just the other day when I ran into Walmart, everywhere I looked were blow up Santas and reindeer that moved. There were stocking as big as the front door and wrapping paper galore. There were lights and wreaths and stockings in every size and color. There were yard signs, candy canes and dancing elves. Down every isle there were signs that Christmas is almost here- and even in this economy, many of us will fall into the trap of thinking we have to ‘having it all’ to make Christmas good.
It gets lost.
It seems that Christmas is no longer about the babe in a manager- because the nativity gets lost in the cookies, the bows, the packages, the tinsel, and the ribbons. Its gets lost in the gifts that are larger that life- the ones that we didn’t need in the first place. The ones we purchase because they were just too good of a deal to pass ( never mind that we have no idea what to do with them anyway). The ones we buy just so that the kids get ‘even’ amounts. The ones we buy just so that our little dumplings have something to open- and you know, get that excited feeling on Christmas morning. It gets lost in the stress of our credit card bill. It gets lost in the stockings and the decorations.
It gets lost when we rob our children of the joy of truly understanding the greatest gift they have ever been given- Christ.
It gets lost.
Soon many children will begin to sit down with their crayons and markers and compile their lists for Santa that are a mile long. They will eagerly present their requests to a man in a big red suit sitting in the middle of the mall. They will smile for their picture and then and sit back, sucking on a candy cane and dreaming of Christmas morning when these treasures will ‘magically appear’…all the while being trained that happiness is found in 'things'.
Please understand- I do not mean to say that gift giving is a bad thing… but it’s when that giving becomes about putting a smile on your child face through another piece of plastic, when giving becomes a financial burden that sends you swirling in a pit of never ending debt, when that giving robs your child of ever being able to grasp the important of the true meaning of Christmas- that I believe we become lost.
I want more than anything for my children to have the very best- and for them to recognize that the very best was giving to them when Jesus came to earth in human form on Christmas day.
I want them to see how that gift changes everything. How in that gift there is true hope- true happiness. I want them to understand that Jesus is enough- all they will ever really need.
I want them to recognize this gift as the ultimate present of all. I want them to do something with that gift- not just tuck it away in the corner of their hearts as the plastic toys will be tucked away in the corners of their rooms.
And I want them to understand that while it might be fun to receive a new toy, an iPod or a shiny new bike- those things are only temporary in this world but that what Jesus has to offer is eternal.
I want them to hear the Christmas story and when they come to the part about there being no room at the
And I don’t want to just tell them that- and then confuse them by living my life in a completely different way. It can be confusing even to Christian adults when we fall into the pit of trying to ‘create’ the perfect Christmas by giving the best, looking our best, serving the best and wanting the best.
So can you help me out and prevent me from turning into a complete scrooge? What are some of the things your family does to keep the real meaning of Christmas from getting lost?