Honestly, this year Christmas made me think a lot about...well, Christmas and what it's really all about. I posted the clip from A Charlie Brown Christmas a few weeks ago where Linus is quoting Luke 2 and telling Charlie Brown that Christmas is about the birth of Jesus. I know this, but what I'm wondering is why do I make it about so much more?
I really don't do a lot for Christmas. I bought presents for 6 people - Todd, Ethan, Micah, my 2 SILs and my MIL. I got some gift cards for the lady who cleans our house and the babysitter we pay and our pastors, but that's it. Pam was wondering how I get by with only buying for 6 people. Well, first of all, Todd's siblings and I draw names, so that's 2 right there. We always buy for his mom because she's his mom and of course we're going to buy for each other and our kids. I'm an only child, my father is dead, and my mother and I are estranged. It's not such a happy story when it comes to my side of the family. So when people say Christmas is about being with your family, well, that kind of makes me feel like crap. I have to make sure I focus on my "real" family - Todd, Ethan, and Micah, and Todd's family, because they make me feel like I've always been a part of them.
I decorate, but not heavily. I don't bake (except 1 batch of no-bake cookies for MOPS) and the only cooking I did was a quiche for breakfast Christmas morning and a pecan pie for dessert that night. So Christmas is not about goodies and big dinners and parties and it sure ain't about snow and cold weather, because I live in Central Florida.
And has anyone ever noticed how many people get sick around Christmas? That kind of puts a damper on the whole "Most Wonderful Time of the Year" idea. Micah woke up Christmas morning with a fever of 101. And did I mention Ethan has a broken leg?
I enjoyed watching the boys open their gifts and I'm not going to lie, I enjoyed opening my own presents. But the shopping, the few days I went to stores and didn't do it online, the shopping made me feel kind of hollow inside. I don't want to just be a consumer!
We watched Christmas specials with our kids, Charlie Brown and The Grinch (we do not like The Grinch) and Dora and Rudolph and The Backyardigans and I think even the Wonder Pets had a Christmas special and it was all, "Christmas is about giving," and "Christmas is about Santa," and "Christmas is about helping others," and while those are all noble ideas, even the Santa one, I wanted to scream at the TV, "No, it's not! Christmas is about Jesus!"
I don't want to be a crazy religious person, giving up the tree because it was a pagan symbol and Santa because he's not real and the gifts because we have so much stuff we have nowhere to put it and there are people in the world who don't even have clean water. I don't want to be like that, really. I see the value in all those things. But I want something MORE out of Christmas. Or maybe, maybe what I want is less. Maybe all I want is to see the Christ child. So maybe I should, on the cusp of this New Year, make a (ugh, I can hardly say it) "resolution" to focus on Him every day, and not wait until Christmas to "make it all about Him." That's a lot of pressure for 1 day. And I need Him more than 1 day out of the year. Trust me, I need Him A LOT.