12.02.2014

I Don't Like Christmas

I don’t like Christmas.

I said it.

Go ahead, call me a scrooge, a Grinch, a heathen.

What Christmas is:
Stressful
Costly
Busy
Over commercialized, WAY over commercialized
Tiring

I just don’t see it as “the most wonderful time of the year” anymore.  I did as a child.  Not anymore.  I don’t like it.

Now I must shop and shop and shop, going to store after store, mall after mall, spending hours online.  I spend way too much money but I HAVE to get that perfect gift for everyone.  Then I spend time worrying as to whether or not I bought the right thing and if the recipient will like it or not.  And I have to make sure I spend the same amount on everyone and have the same number of gifts so no one will get their feelings hurt. Then I hide everything until I get time to wrap.  It’ll take a while to remember where all I have things hidden and drag them all out for wrapping.  I’m not an elaborate wrapper.  I learned a long time ago that the pre decorated gift boxes and gift bags are quick and easy and don’t require any cutting in a straight line.  I must make the parades to see the grandbabies.  I must decorate the house which means rearranging the furniture and sticking my normal d├ęcor somewhere for the holiday.  I must clean the house because guests are coming.  I have to decide when this side of the family comes and when the other side of the family comes and who works when and how to work around everyone.  That has become a major issue as the family grows.  I plan menus, buy groceries and cook for what seems like days.  Then I clean up.
 
All this while working a full time job.  No, my job doesn’t stop so I can “celebrate” Christmas. 

So when do I enjoy the holiday? 

Who decided this is how Christmas should be?  WHO?

In the words of Ellen Griswald, “I don't know what to say, except it's Christmas and we're all in misery.”

Then there’s this:
I think of loved ones who've passed away
And I pray their resting in a better place
I think of memories of years gone by
And sometimes Christmas makes me cry

I think of soldiers across the sea
And Sometimes I wonder why
It's them instead of me
For my freedom they give their lives
And sometimes Christmas makes me cry

Tears of thankfulness, tears of hope
I cry tears of joy at Christmas cause I know
There is peace on earth for every heart to find
And sometimes Christmas makes me cry

I think of families, I think of home
And say a prayer
For those who spend this time alone
Cause love can reach out into a silent night
And that's why Christmas makes me cry

Tears of thankfulness, tears of hope
I cry tears of joy at Christmas cause I know
There is peace on earth for every heart to find
And sometimes Christmas makes me cry

I think of Mary and the virgin birth
And I'm amazed at how much
God thinks we're worth
That He would send His only Son to die
And sometimes Christmas makes me cry

Tears of thankfulness, tears of hope
I cry tears of joy at Christmas cause I know
There is peace on earth for every heart to find
And sometimes Christmas makes me cry

(Written by Matthew West and recorded by Mandisa)

Christmas isn’t always the jolliest season for everyone.  Some people are struggling with illness, family issues, homelessness, grief, depression.  Even if we are busy and run down and have spent all our money, take time to reach out to someone, pray for them, send a card or message, bake a cake, give to a charity if at all possible.  Make the season mean something.  We won’t all be here for the next Christmas.

What Christmas should be:
Joyful
Family time
Reflective
Worshipful
Holy

Charlie Brown: [shouting in desperation] Isn't there anyone out there who can tell me what Christmas is all about?

Linus Van Pelt: Sure, Charlie Brown, I can tell you.  Lights, please.
[a spotlight shines on Linus] And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the fields, keeping watch over their flocks by night. And lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the lord shone round about them, and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, Fear not, for behold, I bring unto you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you this day is born in the City of Bethlehem, a Savior, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; you shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger. And suddenly there was with the angel, a multitude of the heavenly host, praising God, and saying, 'Glory to God in the highest, and on Earth peace, good will toward men'. That's what Christmas is all about, Charlie brown.

(A Charlie Brown Christmas – 1965)

I think Linus was spot on.  I think we need to slow down and come back to the heart of Christmas.  I think it should be more about the birth of our Savior and less about us.  I think we should spend TIME with family and not so much money on family.  Celebrate, yes that’s fine, but keep things simple and don’t forget why we have Christmas to begin with. 

I have to again give Matthew West credit for being such a big part of my blog post but he has already sang so perfectly what I’m talking about:

“Heart of Christmas”

I’m gonna make a wish this Christmas
I’m gonna say a little prayer
I’m gonna stop here for a moment
Before the moment disappears

The world’s in a hurry this December
City streets and shopping malls
I wish we could slow down and remember
The meaning of it all

Wherever you are, no matter how far
Come back to the heart, the heart of Christmas
Live while you can, cherish the moment
The ones that you love, make sure they know it
Don’t miss it, the heart of Christmas

Let’s make it feel the way it used to
Let’s find that wonder of a child
You can see the magic all around you
Come on, and open up your eyes

You can find it in the warm embrace of your family
Or calling up a long lost friend
You can even find it in the eyes of stranger
When you reach out a helping hand

Wherever you are, no matter how far
Come back to the heart, the heart of Christmas
Live while you can, cherish the moment
The ones that you love, make sure they know it
Don’t miss it, the heart of Christmas

In the shadow of a steeple
In a star that lights the way
You will find Him in a manger
The heart of Christmas has a name

I’m gonna make a wish this Christmas
I’m gonna say a little prayer

Wherever you are, no matter how far
Come back to the heart, the heart of Christmas
Live while you can and cherish the moment
The ones that you love, make sure they know it

Wherever you are, no matter how far
Come back to the heart, the heart of Christmas
Live while you can, cherish the moment
The ones that you love, make sure they know it
Don’t miss it, the heart of Christmas
(Written and recorded by Matthew West)

So where do I start?  When do I start?
One day maybe I can enjoy Christmas again.  One day.