I was at Walmart yesterday and they already have live Christmas trees there. I pity anyone who buys one of those. There is no way it will hold its needles until Christmas!
Anyhow, when I saw it, my negative feelings about Christmas all came rushing to the surface. I have to confess that I really don’t like Christmas. All the shopping, buying gifts for people who already have everything they need, all the parties, food, etc.
Every year I get all stressed out over Christmas. I don’t even have very many gifts to buy, just the grandchildren and our children and spouses. But even with only a few gifts it still stresses me out. I am not a shopper. I am great when it comes to finding an old chair to fix up at a garage sale or thrift shop, but that kind of gift doesn’t go very too well with 2, 4 & 7 year old boys, or 2& 9 year old girls.
But yesterday seeing those trees at Walmart I had a brilliant idea. Every time I see Christmas stuff, ads on TV, decorations in the store, Christmas music at the gas station, I am going to thank The Lord for sending Jesus and remember what a gift that is.
The greatest gift…JESUS
I am not going to let the “Christmas spirit”, you know, the one that says we need to create the perfect Christmas experience for our families, I’m not going to let that get to me.
Instead I am going to think about Jesus and what he did for us by coming to this world and thank God for it. And when I hear “It’s a Holly Jolly Christmas” by Burl Ives for the umpteenth time, I am going to remind myself that is is a HOLY JOYFUL CHRISTMAS. I am going to get out my Compassion International and World Vision catalogue and give something that is needed.
I am still going to decorate our house because I do that all year anyway, but it will be simpler and I am going to take my time doing it. I may invite a friend or two in for tea but no big parties.
I am laying aside all the expectations. I love Thanksgiving and so we will celebrate Thanksgiving all the way through the “holiday season”. Thanksgiving for the gift of Jesus.