Actually, I think I was sick of it before December even started. I was already sick of the advertisements before Black Friday, that’s for sure.
This is the time of year when a lot of Christians talk about trying to remember the “reason for the season” and how easy it is to get swept up with and consumed by the world’s celebration of Christmas.
And I always think, “Yeah, that’s true, but I never have that problem.”
Because I don’t get caught up with thinking about what I’ll get (I don’t expect to get much) or what I’ll give (I’m not a good gift-giver, sorry friends). I’m terrible at “Christmas shopping” because I barely even think about it. I don’t get caught up thinking about Santa or watching secular Christmas movies… This year, I’m not even doing decorations because I’m living alone and in transition. I love Christmas hymns and candlelight services, and worshiping outside in the freezing cold under the stars…that is Christmas to me. So I never thought remembering the “reason for the season” would be an issue for me.
But oh my goodness, I am so cynical this year. I can’t stand to watch TV. I can’t stand the songs on the sound system of any store I walk into. I can’t stand when people talk about all shopping they’ve done or are going to do…
Because I’m so self-righteous and I think I know the best way to celebrate Christmas and no one else does.
I’m so caught up in criticizing everything about this season that I haven’t let myself bask in the beauty of the fact that God confined His infinite self to finite flesh, left the throne room of heaven, came to love up close, and died to save a people undeserving. That is something worthy of consuming my thoughts, but instead I have pushed it to the side in my grumblings and my bitterness.
Yes, I believe we as a culture do not celebrate Christmas the way we should. Yes, the idea of buying and receiving superfluous stuff bothers me. Yes, I believe gift-giving should be a life-long attitude, not an event that happens only on holidays because we’re supposed to do it. And yes, it is okay to feel this way, but it is not okay to let these feelings spark in me a bitter and self-righteous attitude toward the world, toward Christmas, toward God’s great and glorious gift. Because that is not the attitude of a child of God.
Daddy, it breaks my heart. It bothers me so much. But I don’t want to dwell on it. I want instead to dwell on Your Son, on the miracle of His birth and the reason for His coming.
I want to be humbled, I want to bring grace. I am flawed, I don’t love You as I should, but thank You for loving me anyway. I want to celebrate You, Your coming, Your dying, Your resurrecting, Your reigning. Draw my heart toward Your Christmas, let me not be led astray.