Christmas is finally over.
That sounds so terrible when I read it, but that’s how I’ve gotten to feel over the years. Run, run, run. Try to buy presents for too many people, spend too much money; and what to get for Grandma who has everything? And then wrap, pack, haul to the parties, unwrap, pack, haul back to my house. And then I have to put the things away, find homes for new items, and decide what to do with the ones they replaced. Did I forget anyone? And then the neighbor shows up with a gift. Do I have time to grab something from the closet to re-gift? What about a card?
Luke 2: In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. 2 (This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.) 3 And everyone went to their own town to register.
4 So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. 5 He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. 6 While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, 7 and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.
As Christmas becomes more and more commercialized, we are growing further and further away from the true meaning of Christmas.
What if we removed the gifts sector from Christmas? Christmas would still happen, it would still be December 25. The sun would rise with the absence of Santa Claus, and the sun would set, marking another day from the calendar. But then I would miss it. I love giving gifts to people I love, but I don’t like the frantic-ness of the holiday season. Everything builds up for weeks and weeks, and then, its over. Its over. Some children receive so many gifts, they are so overwhelmed by all the stuff, and they can’t even play with it all. I get overwhelmed trying to buy gifts for everyone, and it’s hard because I don’t even know what they all like, or what they already have.
I remember when I was a young girl, my mom read all the stories from the “Little House on the Prairie” series to my sister and me. Their Christmas was very simple, with handmade gifts and a few pieces of candy. The gifts they gave and received were very special and from the heart. They were true gifts, of time and love, and they were appreciated by the receiver I think probably much more than the gifts we give now.
And what if we were able to hush all the running to parties and rehearsals and shopping and concerts. The world has gotten so much bigger, yet so much smaller. We have too much to do and not enough time to do it. And once the children are grown, we have to plan around their schedules too, if we want them to come along. And what if your family lives an airplane ride away? There’s all that to contend with as well. How does anyone pull off the perfect Christmas?
8 And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. 9 An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. 12 This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”
13 Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,
14 “Glory to God in the highest heaven,
and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”
I don’t think we can. I think the only way is to remember the reason for Christmas, remember that manger with the newborn baby. Imagine the chaos of Mary and Joseph’s first Christmas. I guess maybe ours isn’t so bad after all. I hope you had a very Merry Christmas!