Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Christmas Rant

Christmas Rant?  Are you serious, Mayree?  Well…..  Yes.

And before anyone reads any farther to only get offended, this is a singular Christian perspective.  I’ve never professed to be anything but a member of the Presbyterian Church in America; far from perfect in all aspects of belief, but firmly staid in what I believe (which may or may not be exactly what the PCA stands for).  If you’re not a Christian, stop here. 

Where to start?  Elf on the Shelf.  He/she is as cute as the next holiday tradition but I’m kind of tired of Advent postings of a $29.95Target special making headlines on FB.  Parents have spent considerable amounts of imagination and time to make the elf appear someplace different every morning, usually with a bit of mischief in mind.  It’s to the point that demented Elf on the Shelf postings are enjoyed.  Far worse, though, what are parents teaching?  As a youngster, we studied the Children’s Catechism in Sunday School.  A question and answer ignored during rebellious years but remembered much better as an adult is Can you see God?  Answer. No; I cannot see God, but he always sees me.”  So then, if a Christian is to train up a child in the way he should go (Proverbs 22: 6), what does it mean that God has been replaced by a cloth and stuffing image  during Christmas?  Let me rephrase that.  How comfortable are you providing an idol to your young child(ren) all for the sake of Christmas fun and tradition?  Ohhhh, Mayree!  It’s just a fun thing for the kids and parents!  Really?  Geez.  And here I thought Christmas was all about Christ and celebrating THE birth…

Next up?  Type A/Perfectionist behavior.  Let it GO already!  It took a very long time for this old gal to let go of perfectionist tendencies (a very long time), but I’m so thankful I did, especially here at Christmas.  But, Mayree!!!  Everything HAS to be perfect!  No.  It doesn’t.  So what if you didn’t get a perfect balance of starches and veggies on the menu!  **snicker** My menu is starch heavy and it’s almost irritating but the day with family and friends celebrating a Savior’s birth trumps perfectly presented victuals.  Oh!  Ran out of wrapping paper?  Tape?  Gift bags?  Nothing is open?  Have you forgotten the magic of Christmas is not in the gifts but in the giving?  What’s that?  You didn’t find/couldn’t afford the one thing your child asked for?  Me neither.  And you know what?  I’m blessed to have children that will love me despite of it.  What are you blessed with?  Whatever physical things are under the tree/on the table are enough.  The day is about sharing and showing gratitude to a God that loves us enough to give us heaven by the birth of His Son, fully God and fully man – and that’s not a thing that can be duplicated on the face of this earth.

Lastly.  The tree/Christmas decorations.  I don’t feel the least bit guilty about not having a tree put up this year.  Why?  First of all, there are no small children (woot! I’m so thankful to have successfully survived to have grown sons).  No one will be over to ooh and ah over perfect placement of lights and ornaments, halls bedecked with lights and greenery, Victorian Santa collection, or any of the other dozen boxes of decorations up in the cabinets.  “But, Mayree, how can you foster the Christmas spirit without having a tree?” you say.  I’ve seen folks agonizing over not getting a tree up until the last minutes, their Christmas villages hastily arranged in a last-ditch effort to ‘get’ the Christmas spirit.  I’d gently admonish the reader that, if it takes the tree/food/gifts/unattainable things to 'get' in the Christmas Spirit, something is amiss.  Something is not quite right.  What is it you want from Christmas?  And, more importantly, why?

I’m no Scrooge, I promise.  I love Christmas the way I love Easter.  The two are so connected that one can’t be thought of without the other.  Both are observances of Something so much larger than a human mind can comprehend, indelibly provided by an Almighty that loves us despite ourselves.  We ought to remember more thoroughly why it is we celebrate, not binding it to any other thing.

Christmas is about love.  It is about family and friends.  And giving.  Give Christmas heart.  Give Christmas your heart.

Christmas rant over!  Now y’all come on down to the Deep South.  It’s supposed to be cooler tomorrow night and there’s wood for a bon fire.  We’ll have hot buttered rums, left over starches, and burn an effigy of an elf!

Merry Christmas, y’all!

1 comment:

  1. Hello dear lady... it's a Texas friend who has not been to your page in a long while. You might not ever see this, but wanted to let you know I totally agree with everything you wrote. The elf thing is rather scary to me. And for a variety of reasons I have not had a tree, or decorations for Christmas in several years. And it's quite peaceful. Living "pressure free" is so amazing! I don't need a tree or decorations to be excited that Jesus came to save us. I say "thank you" for that daily anyway, not just one day a year. In the process of life events, and changes, I changed to decorating for "winter" in things that can be kept out through February. Then I change out and decorate for Spring and Summer. I've enjoyed visiting your fb page again, and reading your words. Much continued success to you in all your life desires. Hugs! from Laurie in Texas.