Our next door neighbors, the game show winners from last summer also jokingly known as the folks that “sucked all the luck out of the cul-de-sac,” stopped by yesterday with gifts for us. Poor Hub was all stressed out when he said, “We didn’t get them anything!” I told him that their gift was already wrapped and waiting to be delivered and was sitting on the dining table.
He ran it next door as soon as we had finished talking.
I don’t know what it is about this time of year, but I’ve been fighting this horrible mood of cynicism the last couple of weeks whenever I hear folks talk about all the Christmas gifts they “have” to buy.
Why do they “have” to buy anything?
I sat in on a conversation with a couple of my colleagues one morning last week where one was lamenting that her children would “only have two gifts each under the tree this year.” She felt bad because, as her children got older, the price of their gifts became more expensive which meant that she couldn’t afford to get a lot of gifts for them.
Why does she feel bad? Her children know how much she loves them. She should know that they’re not going to measure that love in the number of gifts they receive from her.
The local and national news is packed with stories about how retailers are so worried about this holiday season being bad for them and so in order to try to make up the deficit, they’re going to stay open longer this weekend in the hopes that more people will find their way into their stores.
What has Christmas become?
History tells us that Jesus was not born in the winter but His birth is celebrated now because the early Christians wanted to tke away the major emphasis from the pagan celebration of the winter solstice. It seems that the pagans have won back their celebration and yet it is still cloaked it in the name of Christ.
Perhaps we should try to determine Christ’s true birth date and move His birthday celebration to the spring where it belongs.
After all, isn’t the true meaning of Christmas to give thanks to the One that gave us the greatest gift of all … His Son?