The whole “holiday season” thing has me on edge.
I’m tired, I’m broke, I’m a terrible gift giver, I’m a super procrastinator, and when you add all that together, you get a stomach ache and a bad attitude and a bunch of people calling you a grinch (which we all know is just a polite way to tell someone they’re an a-hole).
But I can’t help it. I just feel like the commercialization of Christmas has stolen too much, and now it’s a mere shell of what it ought to be. It makes me squirm when people say, “Jesus is the reason for the season!”
I want to say, “It’s hardly fair to blame this mess on Jesus.“
Perhaps I’m alone in my frustration over what Christmas has become; a circus of overindulgence. Maybe I’m the only one wondering what the hell I’m doing as I circle the Target parking lot in the rain at 10pm to pick up “one last thing”. Maybe my disdain for this horse and pony show is mine alone; buying gifts for near strangers, running my ass off to get from brunch to tea to dinner to dessert (How is there a party for every hour of the day, anyway?!), rolling my eyes behind the lady in line who loudly exclaims how much she spent on stocking stuffers for her daughter as she swipes her credit card. Yeah, lady, we get it. Your daughter is soooo lucky.
Seriously. What a Crapfest.
Maybe I’m the only one who can’t sleep because my horrible personality mixed with The Most Wonderful Time of the Year creates some sort of toxin that seems to linger in the air. I swear, it’s like a big emotional fart. So I lay in bed, awake and unhappy, and I ask God, ” What am I doing?!…This isn’t what Christmas is supposed to be! This is chaos. This is wasteful. This is crap!“
And, in the dark, I want to think His silence equals approval, but it doesn’t. I know, because His answer comes later.
Later, when I’m belting out “GloOOOooOOOooOOOooria!” in the kitchen with all three of my boys. And it’s, like, really bad. We’re using candy canes as microphones, and even though we sound awful, we don’t care because our joy is wild. So we keep singing, and somehow through that off key disaster, I can feel Him whispering to my soul, “This…”
Or, later, when I can see my breath as I walk around the block leaving peppermint goodies on doorsteps – y’know, loving my neighbors, and all that. In soft steps, and wind blown hair, and pink cheeks, flushed with cold, He breathes, “This…”
And, later, when I’m frantically cleaning my house before guests arrive, and in my fury to conceal my piggish ways, I knock over a stack of books and one flips open… So I stop and pick it up… And I read…
“Do not be afraid, for behold,
I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people.
For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior,
who is Christ the Lord.
And this will be the sign to you:
You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger.”
And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying:
“Glory to God in the highest,
And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!”
And then I remember. Oh, yeah. This…
This is kind of a big deal.