I’ve often shared Christmas memories like this one from 2004.
Most of them are from my distant past. It is interesting when the most memorable times are from our youth or from times of separation from our loved ones. But Christmas is about children and family isn’t it? It is about one special family and child who changed the world forever. Christmas is a celebration of the birth of the Holy Infant.
Now, Black Friday appears as our most celebrated holiday. Hordes of us rushing through the doors on the evening of Thanksgiving Day to battle for flat screen televisions, and battle we do, is as far from the Spirit of Christmas as one or a country could possibly travel. We even try to eliminate the word Christmas from our vocabulary choosing instead generic supposedly non-offensive expressions. We teach children that the most important and omnipotent being this time of year is a chubby little elf with a reindeer drawn sleigh who checks his naughty and nice lists before dropping down the chimney with a bag filled with presents – even for those who should be on the naughty list. There is nothing wrong with letting children fantasize and experience a little anxiety about whether they’ve been good or bad but at some point, must we not also share with them the true story of Christmas and with it let them know that Santa represents the Christmas giving spirit? Shouldn’t we teach them about the true omnipotent One who came to us as a helpless infant destined to save us and show us the way to the truest gift of eternal life. Maybe teach them that beyond Santa’s lists exists a real book of life and what one must do to have their name entered into it to receive the greatest gift of all. But we’re not doing that are we? We’re mostly teaching them to go for the stuff. It’s about what you get. It’s not too much about what you give or whom you help rather it’s all about you. All of us carry a little of that guilt.
Certainly, you’ve heard about the war on Christmas. Evidence shows there’s no war on the holiday. If there was the economy would implode. It’s called Black Friday because that’s the day merchandizers begin to earn a profit. The sellers of goods don’t care what you call the day as long as a mob is willing to brawl over a television set. The war is on Christ. It’s no war though. It’s Christians capitulating to the whims of the world.
At the beginning of Christmas time, don’t let me be a downer. I have these same thoughts every year. I realized long ago that I cannot change anyone. As do most of us mortals, I often have difficulty taking an inward look. That’s where change begins, but there is only One who can plant the Christmas spirit in your heart and there is only you and me who can make it grow and spread it around. It is not the Christmas music, decorations, gift wrapping, cookies or even fruit cake that gets you into the spirit. It’s knowing, believing and sharing the true story, most especially with the children.
And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” Luke 2 (NIV)
From Suzie-Q and I may you and yours experience your merriest and most memorable Christmas. May God bless you in the New Year.
© 2018 J. D. Pendry J. D. Pendry’s American Journal