This is the season to be unselfish, reflective, and happy. Only I’ve seen the opposite in some folks.
Just last week, as I was exiting a Walmart (yes, I know, it’s Walmart), I was bombarded with a family walking in the “exit” door. The mom’s head was turned as she was barking out orders, and I stopped in my tracks. She and I nearly had a collision until, at the last second, she turned her head and darted out of the way. There was no “I’m sorry” or “Excuse me.” When I put some change in the Salvation Army bucket outside of the store, the bell ringer told me a woman crossed between him and his kettle and even stepped on his toes! Did she apologize? No, he said. She just looked at him strangely when he told her what she had done!
OK. I believe everyone has experienced some type of bad Christmas experience, but it should not be this way!
A colleague of mine asked, “Why can’t people hold on to this feeling all year long? Why do we feed the homeless during Thanksgiving and Christmas? People are hungry all year long!”
She’s right. Why do we do this just around the holidays? It’s called guilt. We are guilty of not sharing our wealth with those who are less fortunate. People spend and spend, eat and eat, but guilt settles in about not sharing this with people who cannot indulge as those who do.
I am happy for those who do give now and all year long! Every donation provides some type of provision for families who are going through a hard time. This is an excellent segue to the Christmas story in the Bible. It is a safe story for everyone to hear: Joseph and Mary had to find a place to stay because Mary was pregnant and about to give birth. Everywhere that Joseph went, they could not oblige them. Fortunately, they found a stable or manger to stay.
Think about this moment, a couple about to have a baby had to stay in a stable. They had to have their baby in a place where there were animals, probably animal dung and smells that were nauseating. However, it was what they had to deal with and comply with. Their child, Jesus, was born. A star above the manger pointed the way for three kings, the Magi, to come and worship Jesus – the King of Kings. True worshipers of God celebrate Christmas for this reason. Jesus came to bring the gap between God and mankind. We are forgiven through Jesus, who was conceived from the Spirit of God. God became flesh and blood, which was the beginning of salvation and the end of death. Christmas means more than presents, shopping, food, and lights. Christians are human; we live in a fallen world, and we get caught up in the spin of Christmas – but then, we stop and remember what the season is really about, and we celebrate it – life, love, peace, and joy.
The television commercials about the couples who give each other cars are irritating. Maybe I’m a bit jealous because someone can easily purchase this type of gift, but it is annoying because it also sends a message that Christmas is for the rich. If you can afford it, you’re doing a great thing! But, on the other hand, those commercials are trying to sell a product. They are not thinking about what Christmas is all about.
The word Christmas derives from Old English Cristemasse or Christ’s Mass. Again, it’s about Christ. He is the gift. The term “Xmas” is also pronounced Christmas. Many people think that it is a way for nonbelievers to take Christ out of Christmas – but that’s wrong. In Greek, “X” is the abbreviation for Christ or “Christos.” Therefore, it is still Christmas. Some people want to say “Happy Holidays” instead of Merry Christmas. Holiday derives from “Holy day.”
All that I am trying to convey in this blog is that for me, Christmas is one of the best times of the year. It is a time when everyone celebrates, even if they do not believe in God or not. There is an air of love, giving, friendship, and yes, sometimes, peace.
And, to answer my colleague’s question about why we can’t feel this way all year…we can! We can absolutely handle this joy, peace, love, unselfishness all of the time. The reality is the problems of the world; the judgment of this world that gets in the way. However, if some of us keep the Spirit of Christmas, of Christ, within, we can celebrate love all year round!
Merry Christmas! Merry Xmas! Happy Holidays!
I love you all!