Tis the season

October 15, 2007 at 1:40 pm | Posted in Christianity | 2 Comments
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It’s that time of year again. Yep, it’s the holiday season.

For those of you who read this and are old enough to look back a few years, you might remember the holidays like I do. I remember the days getting shorter, the temperatures dropping, the crisp air, the color changing leaves, and even the smell of winter in the air.

You may read that and say, “Hey, I remember those things too, they still happen”. You’re right, they do. But let me go on…

I remember the decorations going up. I remember taking trips through the country to see how others had decorated their houses. I remember the food my grandmother used to cook. I remember my Boy Scout troop helping to set up the nativity scene at a local Catholic church. I remember reading signs that said “Merry Christmas” everywhere you went.

That’s just some of the ways that I remember Christmas.

Today, you can tell when the holidays start because as soon as the back to school rush is over, the Halloween costumes are out. And, as soon as October actually gets here, the Christmas stuff is already being put out…We hardly even recognize Thanksgiving anymore, and if we do, it’s only as a four-day weekend, a time to watch football and stuff ourselves to the point of exploding, and to get up at an ungodly time the next day so that we can fight over gifts that we plan on giving someone a month down the road.

Today, you can tell when the holidays start because they end up in the courts. There are fights about whether or not Christmas trees should be called Christmas trees. There are fights over whether or not the nativity should be allowed. There are stores that decide whether or not they will have things that say “Merry Christmas” or just “Happy Holidays”.

That’s the holidays now. It’s no longer a time of spreading joy and cheer because the source of the joy and cheer has all but been forgotten. It’s no longer a time to think about others because we have to focus on ourselves and make sure that we’re happy first. It’s no longer a time to give from what you have, but to make empty promises and spit out empty clichés that show that we lack the guts or honesty to speak the truth to those we love.

The holidays used to be a time of growing focus. When Halloween hit, it was the beginning of the best time of year. We knew that greater things were coming. As Thanksgiving got closer, we were reminded over and over just how great we had it (and we didn’t have much by even the most meager standards). When the day finally came, we spent time with family and friends. Laughing, joking, and remembering that even though we may be apart most of the year, we’re still family and that still matters.

As Christmas day crept closer and closer, we heard about a loving Savior who came down and was born so that He could die in our place and restore us to God. And this was in a family that wasn’t even very active in church. We did think about toys, and we had our share of arguments and fights, but it was all trivial compared to what the holidays stood for. We seem to have forgotten that today.

Since those days, I’ve become a born again Christian and the holidays have come to mean even more to me. I truly understand now what I only vaguely knew then. I see the truth of the holidays and I enjoy them more now than I ever have. My daughter doesn’t believe in Santa (she’s 8) because I’ve told her the truth. She knows the real meaning for Christmas and because of that there can be no substitute.

This holiday season, I encourage you to take the time to spread true joy and cheer. Let others know that you love them, and mean it when you say it. Take the time to enjoy your family, and if you know those who don’t have family, share yours with them! And maybe, just maybe, the holidays will be like you and I remember them…

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  1. Despite what the world does we try and hold unto the true meaning of Christmas. It does get a little crazy but keeping it as simple as possible and making some of our gifts together helps keep the focus on Christ.
    Thanks for your post!
    Debbie aka The Real World Martha

  2. I think that that’s great Debbie! Sadly, I see many Christians get caught up in the worldly side of the holiday and completely forget who and what they represent. I hope that it will change this year though…:)

    Thanks for the comment!


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