Tuesday, December 11, 2007

You can call me Ebenezer...

I am feeling so out of the Christmas spirit....or at least in terms of what society calls "The Christmas Spirit"

Our tree is not up, although the house is decorated. The lit mini-trees are out on the front porch, the stockings are hung, some presents are bought. But, all I can think about this year is how much we lose the real meaning of Christmas within what is society's definition of the "Christmas Spirit." You know, buying gifts, getting together with family, eating; lots of eating. Society has pushed us into forgetting the real meaning behind this very special holiday. Marketing campaigns, economic numbers, Black Friday....blah blah blah.

For some reason, this year, the traditional 'stuff' just doesn't feel right. The giving of gifts; while it's fun, it reminds me of the ultimate gift that we all received on Christmas day. The gift of a Savior. A Savior!! And when I think about that, my daunting list of gifts to buy seems so insignificant. The wreaths, the lights, the trees. Everyone hustling around, quiet in their own minds, reflecting on all that needs to be done. I wish there to be a Christmas where we really ponder the gift that we receive on that day. Not the fruitcake from Aunt Louise, but the true gift of Christmas. Right now, all I can seem to think about is that darn Christmas tree not being up yet, and then I get frustrated with myself for losing sight of what is the most important thing about this time of year.

I know that the trees, the lights, the gifts, the food; they are all a part of this time of year. But, in piling on the tasks, and feeling the need to get it all done, I can't help but feel all of us losing out on what we should be focused on. At least, I can see it happening in our house.

My challenge to you today, is to take a few minutes and really think about what this time of year is all about. Think about the gift that we received on that very special day when Christ was born. Remember that the giving of gifts, the gathering of family, the extra 'stuff' is all in the spirit of the holiday. This holiday where we celebrate the birth of a Savior. For me, that is all that it took, to put me right back in the REAL spirit of this holiday.

"For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord."
Luke 2:11


apt said...

I kind of think Christmas should go the route of the holidays like Memorial Day. Where the actual day falls on the same day every year and then it's observed for BBQ's the closest Monday. That way folks could focus on the religous aspects of Christmas, if they choose, on one day, and the cultural aspects on another.

Also, I promise I didn't read this before I sent you an email asking what was up with not putting the tree up yet. Promise.

Meg P said...

Good post Em, we actually just had a sermon on this this past Sunday.

I think it is so easy to get caught up in the hype of Christmas, shopping for gifts, spending time with family, eating, materialism, etc ( I know I can, I think we all can ) you're right, we can't lose focus on the real meaning, and the reason for Christmas in the first place. The birth of our savior.....the BEST gift yet!

While the decor and the gifts are fun, and spending time with family (I can't wait to come home ) is amazing too -Jesus is really the reason for this season.


Amy Carroll said...

Emily - if it makes you feel any better, we don't have a tree up either! Our house is decorated, but no tree. I've been feeling very similar to you this year and have been trying to figure out how to balance both the religious aspects and the commercial ones.

I love the Christmas season...thinking about gifts our family and friends would delight over, the lights, the egg nog, the get-togethers, etc. and think 'apt' makes a FABULOUS point about separating the two. I've often thought both have their points but unfortunately the true meaning gets buried under our 'to do' lists and boxes of presents.