December 2nd, 2010
Credit cards, bills, shopping sprees, crowded parking lots…’tis the season, right?
In all honesty, Christmas can drive me crazy. Well, not Christmas per se, but the materialism and selfishness that this season inevitably promotes.
Christmas is a wonderful time…regardless of what you believe. As a Christian, I celebrate it as the birth of Christ and the hope of salvation and eternal life and justification before a very just God. However, regardless of your beliefs, Christmas is a celebration of family and friends, and love and joy and peace…the exact opposite of selfishness.
Why do we get so wrapped (pun intended) in the lists and the “I wants” and the “must haves” that the media bombards us with? I just don’t get it.
Every Christmas I find myself wanting to rip out my hair over Christmas lists. Who got what? How much can I spend? Should I keep the receipt? Why is my focus so far from that baby in a manger? Instead of thinking of selfless sacrifice of God made man, I think, “Geee…I’m going to ask for that for Christmas…”
This morning I went through the Starbucks Drive-thru and was pleasantly surprised when I went to hand my card to the barista that the lady in the car in front of me had paid for my drink for me. All the barista told me that it was for Christmas and the lady’s name is Karen.
I was so touched I almost cried. It was a stressful week…both because of good things and bad things, and this hit my sensitive heart strings. It was such a gentle reminder that we are always surrounded by blessings. Here was someone who did a kind deed for a stranger, without hope of return or repayment, yet it completely touched my heart in a way that some DVD or piece of clothing could not.
I want to be like Karen. I want to look outside my comfortable circle of relatives and friends and ask, “how can I display the meaning of Christmas to someone who truly needs it?”
I want to take what Karen gave me this morning and pay it forward.
I want to be stretched. Not necessarily financially, although that’s what it might take, but in other ways too. After all isn’t that what Christ did for us? He was God who became man, lived a humble life, and eventually was crucified. So tell me, if I believe that to be the true meaning of Christmas, why do I even care one bit about my Christmas list?
I really want to break out of the cycle. I really want to stand up and shout, “NO MORE CHRISTMAS GIFTS! NO MORE LISTS! NO MORE LAST MINUTE TRIPS TO THE STORE BECAUSE I FORGOT ABOUT OLD AUNT SALLY…AGAIN!!!”
I don’t know if this is year that I will do that. If this is the Christmas I will put my foot down and say that for too long my heart has been in the wrong place. I’m not sure, but I’m certainly hoping and praying that I raise my kids to feel the same was as I do.
And I know that starting today, I’ll be looking for ways to pay the blessing of Christmas forward…because that’s what it’s all about.