Wednesday, December 21, 2022

Week Fifty-One - A Christmas Fail

I've been so blessed to have always enjoyed a loving family and happy Christmas memories. But for some people, Christmas is a failure. They might be homeless or live in an abusive situation. Maybe they are spending Christmas alone or too poor to afford the tinsel, gifts, and trappings. Christmas for them is a disappointment.

While watching the commercials reminding me of those who do not have the blessings I enjoy and sometimes take for granted, I began comparing the image of Santa, gifts, a warm home, candles, trees, ornaments, parties, loving families, and sleigh rides - the whole "sell" of the season, to the hurt and neediness of those without and I grew somewhat cynical.

We're trying to create a euphoria based on an imaginary image that can never bring the joy it promotes. All that comes with this Christmas scene is an expectation - an expectation that never lives up to reality. 

Judging Christmas by the commercials and magazine images always leaves something missing. The decorations need to be better, the tree larger, and the cookies more perfect. The family needs to be happier and more beautiful, and the gifts must be impressive. Unfortunately, while we work to create this ideal atmosphere, we breed unhappiness and discontent. No wonder our Christmas fails. It makes me want to cast away this image entirely and look for something more natural and comforting.

So my thoughts went to that first Christmas. God, got Christmas right! The heavens blazed with celestial stars as the herald of an angelic choir announced the birth of His Son. That's enough tinsel and music for all of us!

The poor and unwanted gathered together, worshipping around the greatest gift ever given - humble, quiet, and open. An unspeakable, perfect gift that would never disappoint. God's Christmas includes us all. No cost, no trappings, no imagined expectation, just a baby in a manger coming to offer an eternal home, security, friendship, provision, protection, and hope to all.

Don't let your Christmas fail this year because you are over-focused on the commercial glitz and tinsel. It will never be enough. Instead, allow each twinkling light to remind you of the Christmas star and hear every carol as coming from the heavenly choir. Set your heart to receive each gift, no matter how simple, as coming from the Father above, and receive it with a humble and thankful heart. You can have a happy Christmas wherever and whoever you are when you bring yourself to the baby in the manger and join the celebration.

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