I normally try to avoid whining and complaining online, but it seems like I’ve done an awful lot of it lately. Well, I’m going to do it again. If you’re not interested, avert your eyes.
Tonight’s whinging session is inspired by American commercialism and the secularization of Christian holidays. Granted, Christmas is a Christian holiday because it was hijacked from another religion. Nevertheless, for years and years, Christmas has been a celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ. I guess that’s why it really bothers me to hear people talking about Christmas as though it’s some portable, tangible thing that you can pack up and take with you and that can be money dependent.
News flash: Christmas is the celebration of the birth of God in the flesh. The Creator of the entire universe came down from heaven and became a man. He led a perfect life so that He could give His life as a perfect sacrifice once for all who would surrender their lives to Him.
Therefore, do not cheapen the celebration of Christ’s birth by referring to the act of opening gifts as “having Christmas”, “doing Christmas” or “Christmas” itself. The whole gift thing is fun. It’s a LOT of fun! But don’t confuse what Christmas is with what we traditionally do on Christmas Day. The lack of presents does not mean a child will not have a Christmas. It is certainly disappointing not to have tons of presents, thanks to what we’ve done to Christmas, but a person who doesn’t get any gifts can still “have Christmas”! The birth of the ultimate, once-for-all sacrifice who defeated death and hell so that we could live with Him, eternally healthy and whole, free from suffering is NOT NOTHING.
Christmas is about something so big that money cannot buy it, and yet it is free!!
I don’t mean to take a child’s lack of gifts on Christmas lightly or to blow off their disappointment or hurt. I have been through hard times many times in my life, so while I’ve never had a Christmas where I got no gifts, there have been very slim pickin’s on more than one occasion. The thing is, for me, because I have a relationship with the God of the universe, even in poorer times, there has always been the sense that Christmas is about something bigger and that no one, no financial difficulty could take that away from me!
If you’re struggling with money this Christmas season, take heart. Christmas is Christmas, whether or not their are gifts under the tree. There is cause for celebration even in times of want because this life is not all there is!