Although we do not all celebrate Christmas and fewer still understand the meaning behind all the glitz and commercialism, the feeling and spirit embedded within the holiday is what all of us are capable of feeling. Holiday traditions, celebrations with family and friends, and those special moments that create memories whose purpose is to carry us through the hard times ahead are the things that stay with us forever.
However, I am a follower of Christ; therefore, I will be speaking of my beliefs, traditions, and memories that make this time of year an extraordinary time for my loved ones and me. To me, Christmas is all about the celebration of the Savior’s birth who came to save all sinners. Everything else is human bling and commercialism. Nevertheless, family traditions and community celebrations have the potential to provide and spread the original gift Christ gave to all of us who are willing to accept it, love, mercy, forgiveness, sacrifice. The spirit of Christmas lives within us every day but we usually suppress its urgings out of fear of judgment or rejection. That little nagging voice we have that urges us to check in on a neighbor, send a card to someone, visit a person who we know is lonely, or to just shovel the snow from a neighbor’s walk. If we allow ourselves to be led by the spirit then love, joy and peace will be the result. Some cannot hear that little urging at all because they are too consumed with selfish desires or their lives have become so hectic they have become deaf to it altogether. These folks look at that world and blame it for its commercially centered focus. A resounding declaration shouting that they are not going to buy into any of it. In fact, they refuse to get sucked into the melee surrounding Christmas. Of course, this is a major cop-out deflecting the fact they have hardened their own hearts to the point that they cannot see beyond the layers of glitz.
These folks contribute to the very problem they condemn. Instead of adding to the negativity, get out and make a difference, get out there and be an example of the true meaning of Christmas. Disdain and criticism for what we humans have made of our holidays is ludicrous because we have created the situation; hence, we have the power to change it. Peel off the layers of profiteering, economic gain, surplus of unwanted or unneeded gifts, and the over indulgence that marks the season. However, the way in which we downsize our holiday makes a huge difference because we should not make others feel poorly about themselves. After all, being a self-righteous objector only brings scorn and disgust toward you. No one likes to have a mirror held up to illustrate his or her faults. Alternatively, protest the commercialism by providing a quiet example of what the season is really all about. Leave a generous tip to a service provider, hand out a few pairs of warm gloves, hats, or coats to homeless individuals, make and deliver some holiday treats to an elderly neighbor or someone who is all alone. Invite someone you know who has no one to a nice, quiet dinner that doesn’t not have to be the holiday meal. During Christmas and New Years, both depression and suicide rates are extremely high because people feel alone in all the world. Imagine, in a world of 6 billion people there are thousands who have no one to care about them, no one to believe in them, no one to love them.
You and I have the power to make a difference throughout this holiday season and all the year through so please do not sit there in your easy chair and complain about how bad the world has become. Do not shout your protests about the commercialism of the holidays. Instead, act and do something that proves humanity has not lost its soul. I pray each and every one of you have a deeply profound and blessed holiday season. If you believe in the Christ in Christmas then make certain no one can ever question your ability or willingness to live a life that proves it every single day. Of course, we will fail every now and again as we are only human but it is the pursuit that is important, for when we stop trying then Christmas is meaningless and the celebration of the New Year is pointless.
God bless you all richly throughout this season and may he provide his protection and guidance all the year through.