What is Christmas All About?

December 19, 2014

I have to stop and ask myself this question over and over. Is it all about the programs, purchases, parties,  the hustle and bustle??? Over the last few weeks I’ve talked with several fellow worship pastors and friends and keep finding the same seasonal burnout everywhere I turn. I’ve even threatened to tear the last two months out of next year’s calendar… thinking maybe a self induced coma from Oct 31 ’til Jan 1 would be a viable option.  But it shouldn’t be this way.

Old Fashioned Christmas Lights

I remember the good ol’ days  (I think I qualify to use that phraseology since I’m over 50, half a century has to count for something). Christmas was all about the expectation, wonder, excitement. I loved seeing all the decorations, houses and yards strung in those fire hazard ropes we called Christmas lights.  Remember?…maybe you don’t. Forget these new-fangled LED lights… strangely brilliant colors, electric ice blues and purples that burn out your eyeballs… that you can string along a thousand strands and plug into one outlet!… NO!  We had real lights….lights with real bulbs, real HOT bulbs…and don’t think you could plug them all in together, not a chance – not unless you have a couple ungrounded multi-sockets and 20 frayed extension cords.  And there were no color injected plastic tips..no no no,  these light bulbs were painted on the outside to give the color. So, after one season you always had some white shining through the chips on each of the Easter Egg sized bulbs. Those light strings with braided cloth covered wire and exposed sockets were the cause of many a destroyed plastic tree and even worse, many a house fire….but we didn’t care!  There seemed to be no worries.

Old tree lights

Maybe my mother worried …. I don’t know, I really never thought about it… I was a kid. That said, I never saw her in a holiday panic or a festive frenzy. Life seemed to move a little slower. The Christmas holidays seemed a lot longer and we relaxed in our PJ’s more and spent time with the family. I want that time again!

If you are feeling the same way this year, the question becomes: How do we get it back? Personally, I believe we have to step back and breathe… It’s ok to say no to all the “stuff” we continue to pack into our already busy schedules.  Simplify, simplify, simplify! Schedule time in your schedule to NOT have a scheduled time or place to be. Take a stroll with someone you love to just be together.  Remember those around you who may not be experiencing a festive time.  Invest something into the lives of those less fortunate than you – and there is always someone less fortunate than you. Take time in your day to stop and pray. Thank our Heavenly Father for giving you one more opportunity to show His love to someone in need, even in small and seemingly insignificant ways.  Let’s keep “the celebration of His coming to be with us” as the most important aspect of this holiday season and every day of the year ahead.

Jesus is THE Christmas “Light of the World”

Note: If this year you are feeling completely unconnected and at your end.. don’t stay silent.  Talk to a friend, professional or minister. Verbalize your feelings and emotions.