We Need a Little Christmas
I love the Christmas traditions-getting out the same treasures year after year...no matter the circumstances of health or trials each year brings...there is a consistency in the continuance of our Christmas traditions: the nativity, the evergreen wreath, the same decorations on the tree, the same lights, the same turkey and stuffing and pumpkin pie. We thrive on these traditions and as I get older they are more precious and not just formalities.
There is the stress of getting the cards written, the gifts bought and wrapped... did I get each person a meaningful gift? Much of this pressure we put on ourselves. I still like sending cards, because it is the one time of year I reach out to many old friends.
The good book says, "It is better to give than receive", but it is never better to go into debt. For those that have money, it is a privilege to help those who need. When we compare ourselves with the whole world, having heat and fresh water we have more than many in the world and we are kings!
Charles Finney, the 19th Century revivalist, taught the unsatisfying nature of material things. Of course, there is the high of getting something new...but anything new, later becomes old and loses it's luster. That is because by nature and design by God, these things only give temporary pleasure.
The things in life that remain are relationships, time and the memories that are made in simple pleasures like taking a walk in the woods or on the beach; teaching a young one how to follow a recipe, measure flour and crack an egg; how to tie a knot or tie their shoes; how to set the table; how to say please and thank you; taking someone out Christmas shopping who doesn't drive; babysitting for a friend with little ones; making a batch of cookies to share with a neighbor. I'm sure you can add more.
The way we spell LOVE is T-I-M-E. Christ taught us it is better to give than receive and if we do it to the least we do it unto him. I firmly believe charity begins at home, because if we lose our children to the world or our marriages, what good is any of it. But home is only the beginning.
God's gift to man is that he gave. We give to others to show our love. In the past, most mothers stayed at home and kept the home fires burning, literally. In today's world of dual careers, women face the added pressure of doing it all. It's impossible. Let's reread the Proverbs 31 Woman. Some years I choose to do less in some areas to take the pressure off. Maybe I don't bake any cookies one year, or make lasagna ahead, so there is no fuss on Christmas Day.
Sit back and watch old videos of your family interacting. I am always struck by little ones asking adults questions and often times being ignored. Kids don't want things as much as they want us.
Take a deep breath, say a prayer to be more Christ-like this Christmas and remember to lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven where neither moths nor rust destroy nor thieves break in and steal. It is not all or nothing. It is in finding the balance that we will inherit the earth, because as the song goes, "We need a little Christmas, right this very minute." Amen.