Merry Christmas from us’ns!
Every year the Christmas season arcs like a guiding star into the American conscience, shining it’s message of hope in a dark dark night.
I love this season because it is the one time of year when people of all ages, and all stations in life think about each other, at least a little bit. No matter the motivation, everyone takes a moment, even if it is the last moment, and they think about someone else.
Yes it is commercialized, yes there is some greed involved, yes we commonly trade a bunch of useless junk that will be sitting in Goodwill before spring, but buried deep in the commercialized greed and expectations there is a shining moment of unselfish thinking. What shall I get mom, or dad, my wife, kids, grandkids, etc, etc, etc? Each person holds the other in their thoughts long enough to evaluate what the other may need, or want. Time is taken to buy the item and hide it, or wrap it, or ship it. It all adds up to more selfless thinking than any other time of year. No other holiday does this.
The message of giving is entrenched in Christmas like no other. From “A Christmas Carol”, to “The Grinch who stole Christmas”, right on through to Santa Claus and Rudolf the red nosed reindeer the message of giving shines on. But what is it about the season that compels us to give?
The Christ child. Emanuel; God with us. Jesus.
All of this is because of a birth over two thousand years ago. Santa Claus, commercialism, Hanukkah, winter solstice, lots of things happen this time of year, but I think if you asked nearly anyone why we celebrate Christmas, the birth of Christ would come up fairly early in the conversation. Christ is the reason we think about others in a beneficiary way. Christ is the reason we give. Christ is the reason we forgive our neighbor, at least for a season, and bake them a plate of cookies.
Giving was the reason for His birth. Gods gift of Himself to us. For thousands of years we had been telling the story of an angry vengeful god of laws and sacrifice, but at last He came to tell us a different story, a story of a God that runs down the lane and hugs us when we come home from the pig pen, and gives us the family ring, and throws a party, and makes us all sons and daughters of the King. He gave us hope that there is more to life than slavery to laws, slavery to hate, and slavery to building bigger barns and homes and empires. He gave us a purpose, and part of that purpose is to give… to others, and so we do.. every Christmas.
That my friends is why I wish you Merry Christmas, or Happy Holiday, or Hanukkah, or winter solstice. It matters not to me why you celebrate the season, I will celebrate with you by giving you my time and attention while I wonder.. What does this person need?
Kevin & Sherlene