I hope you don’t mind – I’m going to take a break in my timeline during December to focus on Christmas. I think there are a few things that need to be said about this special time of year, so thank you for understanding! I’ll get back to my story in January.
I love this time of year! The weather gets cooler, lights and decorations start to appear in homes and on city streets, the smells of favorite desserts and dishes fill the air, evergreen trees manifest in house windows and holiday parties bring people together. I love enjoying spice teas with gingerbread men (yes, the cookies!) while listening to Christmas music celebrating the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ.
But something has happened to this sacred season – I’m sure you’ve noticed…
Christmas “stuff” starts to hit the shelves of our department stores in OCTOBER (the above picture is from one of my favorite stores in October this year) – there’s still 2 other “holidays” to celebrate before Christmas! Christmas music fills the radio airways weeks before Thanksgiving. And this one got me – I found my local Christian radio station (that I love, by the way) playing songs about Rudolph and Frosty!! Don’t get me wrong – I like Rudolph and Frosty, but if I am listening to my Christian radio station, it’s to hear about, sing about, and worship JESUS, not the season itself.
We’ve seen this epidemic for years and many of us (me included) have just accepted it as the way it is. Christmas has been commercialized just like everything else in this world… Here’s where it got to me this year though. This is where the story saddens a bit.
Last week I saw a Christmas tree sitting outside at my neighbor’s house. That’s a good thing, right? Well, this neighbor does not believe in Jesus. In fact, my hubby and I have been trying to introduce her to Jesus for a couple of years. We would love for this friend and neighbor to join us in eternity – there’s still work to be done there.
But seeing this tree outside of her house made me wonder… What exactly is she celebrating? Why have the tree? Why decorate the house? Why go through the tradition of buying and exchanging gifts? For me the answer is simple – to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ and to show His love to others through the season. But for a non-believer, what is the motivation?
Has Christmas become another Hallmark holiday? Is the meaning of Christmas in the pretty lights and sparkling wrapping paper? Is the purpose of the season to give and receive gifts for ourselves? For many people, the answer to these questions is YES – and that makes me sad.
Where is Christ in Christmas? Isn’t it HIS birthday?
What is Christmas about for you? Do your actions during this Christmas season reflect what you believe? How can they? Do you need to refocus how you choose to spend your time and energy this season?
My choice this season is to not let a single opportunity go by to share the true meaning of Christmas. I want people to know and experience the love of Christ and if I can be a vessel for that, I choose to do it.
Join me in choosing not to let Christmas become another Hallmark holiday. Let the light we shine be the light of Christ in an otherwise dark world.