Do you ever feel as if the effort required to stoke up the “Christmas Spirit” just doesn’t measure up to the final results? Do you wonder if it is even worth the trouble? There are so many excuses for dismissing the holiday that sometimes I am tempted to throw up my hands and say “I give up!” Each year that passes I promise myself that I will make THIS Christmas special, only to be let down by the actions and demeanor of people in my immediate circle of acquaintance. Among co-workers, business associates, neighbors, and even some family members, there are always those certain few who could, by their presence, make jolly Old Saint Nick fall into a funk of depression, and despite all of my efforts I allow them to dampen my own spirits.
Whenever I hear another complaint about the “commercialism” of Christmas, or hear just one more person denouncing the celebrations as a waste of time and money, it just makes me feel sad, sad for the people for whom the true meaning behind Christmas remains unknown, and sad for those souls who are so jaded by “critical thinking”, or by religious misgivings, that the opportunity to really celebrate something remarkable with a large segment of our society just falls into a black hole.
And it is TRUE! MOST of society, at least here in the USA, DOES celebrate Christmas to one extent or another. But when we snipe and criticize other peoples’ version of the season, or try to invalidate others’ joy by being legalistic, parsimonious, and critical we actually subtractt from the true meaning of the season. We forget that ALL good things come from above. Why can’t we allow others to experience their own version of joy without telling them that they may be misguided and just trust that the Author of Truth, the Good Shepherd, will use every reference to Himself in these celebrations to lead those who will into His Kingdom?
Did Christ criticize others for not quite being “orthodox” enough in their journey to discovering the truth? Did the angels appearing to the shepherds in the field proclaim “Glory to God in the heavenly heights, Peace to all men and women on earth who please him in the theologically correct way.” Of course not! And why should we hinder those who are on their own path to the Truth by imposing what WE think is the “approved” method. Let those who celebrate Christmas in various other ways be influenced by God’s Holy Spirit, not our own. Let us, by our own joyful celebration, ADD to the celebration with others, and by the peace we exhibit in the face of the relentless merchandising, the rampant consumerism, influence others to question the “reason for the season” and, hopefully, find the same peace we know. Lets add to the joy for a change.
From OTG, the Grouchmate and Kidgrouch, much happiness, joy and peace be to you and yours this Christmas. Merry Christmas!