Monday, December 20, 2010

Why pack everything into just one day?

It's a week before Christmas and stores have been packed for weeks now in preparation for Christmas Day. We see people gathering gifts for everyone. Making plans to attend every party and every home invited to. We begin with smiles at first at the joy of Christmas, but at the end of the day we find ourselves exhausted, stressed and wondering where the time went.  We get caught up in the hustle and bustle and say Christmas is here and gone. Why do we seem to think we can only celebrate Christmas one day a year? Isn't Christmas something we should celebrate daily all throughout the year? For if not for Christmas there would be no reason to celebrate at all.

I mean, lets just think about this for a minute. Christmas is the birth of Christ. We celebrate this special gift one day. We pack it all in trying to meet the expectations of everyone and make all happy. We make an attendance at our parents home. We must hurry out to see Aunt Hilda and Uncle George, then get around to see Grandma Jones. Is this not insanity? What if we simply celebrated Christ's birth daily?

Lets take this into account. We could praise Him daily by living for Him. We could open our home to a relative once a month if not more having a special dinner. We could make a date each Sunday to see our parents. If you have a blended family, just simply take turns and spend a whole day with one set of parents so you are not rushed. Have many children? Take time with each one. Make a date with those grandkids. Take a friend out to lunch and share your heart. Send a card to one far away. Buy that special gift and send by mail surprising one you love just out of the blue. Maybe even call that brother and just ask, "Whatcha been up to?' Why not try unexpected blessings? Aren't those the best?

We go out to the shopping malls with a list and think, "Now, what would grandma like?" We might even call up another and ask them what one would like to have. Just think, if we spent time with these very people we say we love wouldn't we already know what they would like? We spend money on gifts when most would just really like to spend time with the ones they love.

Christmas tends to be stressful for many because we try to jam pack everything into one day and we find ourselves feeling badly when we just simply cannot see everyone. We spend every last dollar we have on gifts and cards until we break out the credit cards and spend the rest of the year paying them off. Why? Why do we go bankrupt for one day a year? If we just simply took the time throughout the entire year loving those around us would Christmas really be so stressful?

I think this is why we lose the meaning of Christmas. We lose Christ in our business. In our trying to please others, what about pleasing the One who came on this day? How much time do we really spend worshiping His birth on this day? I think it's time to let ourselves off the hook and realize we can celebrate Christmas everyday of the year just by being the hands and feet of Christ. Just by reaching out and taking time.

We have a blended family. We know the stress and sometimes hurt feeling that can come with trying to make everyone happy. Our kids have huge families and try to see everyone. We finally sat back years ago and said, "We will take whatever day is easiest." Why put that pressure on your kids and family? That is simply taking the love out of the season and making it all about us and what we want. When this day has nothing to do with anything we have done, but all to do with our Savior.

"Shout with joy to the Lord, all the earth! Worship the Lord with gladness. Come before Him, singing with gladness. Come before Him, singing with joy. Acknowledge that the Lord is God! He made us, and we are His. We are His people, the sheep of His pasture. Enter His gates with thanksgiving; go into His courts with praise. Give thanks to Him and praise His name. For the Lord is good. His unfailing love continues forever, and His faithfulness continues to each generation." Psalm 101

If you are tired of the added stress or if this season brings depression just let it go. We try too hard. When in fact all we must do is slow down. Stop trying to be like the commercials and the neighbors. Lets not compete. Lets not grow weary because we don't have money to purchase gifts or take that holiday trip. Just try spreading it all out throughout the year and allowing the Lord to live through us as we worship daily the One who came to bring us life.


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