This Christmas Season is going to be one that this generation will not soon forget and talks about to their kids and grand kids for years to come. Why do I say that? Because there is so much going on in our world right now that the future is the most uncertain as it’s ever been to most of us. The economic crisis that hit our nation in September is not getting any better – fast! – and there is no one driving this train since Barack Obama has not officially taken office, and Bush, jr. is still in the White House. Wall Street hit an all time low this month and because of this the average person will not be out shopping for the month between Thanksgiving and Christmas, as we’re used to doing. The general public is going to be forced to slow down and enjoy a simpler Holiday, much like the earlier days of our country and of our grandparents. They led a much simpler lifestyle than this generation and it’s apparent in their serenity level, the way they spend money and most importantly, in the priorities of living their life.
Due to the economic situation, the middle class has been spending their days working and hoping that they don’t get laid off and then coming home with little extra funds for outside entertainment. It is not as evident as to how this crunch hit the upper class, but have no doubt, everyone has been affected. The prices on extra’s and even food and necessities, is doubling, but could this be the year when we push our American materialism aside for gifts and presents and take the time to bring back the Christmas carols around the tree complete with a cup of hot chocolate. Could this be a set-up from Big Santa himself? Maybe God has a plan to pull us out of this mess even better than the way we started. Most of us have been running so fast, working 2-3 jobs, and just getting nowhere – while our children are practically raising themselves. We are loosing the real meaning of relationships and family, but this could be the season that we get back in touch with who we are and get the best gift of all – the gift of enjoying the moment, and the sharing the joy with friends and family!
There was a good example given for us in the birth of the most popular Son born in a small village on a day like Christmas. We can find miracles around us in our everyday journey, no matter where we are. Back in that day, people stopped on their journeys to and from this little town, and looked at the new baby. Look around your universe; Is there a new baby around your neighborhood, your school or church? Take a moment and stop and ask the baby’s name. What a Miracle of new life he/she is! Now look around and notice the people in your circle. Find some time this holiday season to reconnect and sit down with a cup of coffee or a soda. Speak to the person ringing up your groceries or at the drug store. Catch up with your family and what they are doing in their life, and sit down to dinner occasionally. It is so easy to get out of touch when we are caught up in the ‘make it and spend it cycle’ of the everyday routine. Now, for whatever reason, we have been given this moment in time, the Christmas Season of 2008, to appreciate and encourage those around us – and it won’t cost a dime.
When we look back on Christmas 2008, we will remember all these things, but let’s hope that we took advantage this old fashioned way of spending the holidays. Let’s hope, with the little child in each one of us, that we’ll look back on this Holiday Season as the one where we all stood together and shared the weight of our country, yet we also shared in the real meaning of Christmas and brought in the New Year with renewed hope and expectancy.