What does Christmas mean? Is it family, good food, gifts, what makes the holidays different from any other day? What the holidays mean varies from person to person so I’ll just say what they mean to me and maybe in all my ramblings there will be something meaningful.
Christmas means opportunity. Christmas gives us the opportunity to practice things we seldom have enough opportunity to practice….patience. This is supposed to be the time of year when everyone is full of love and sharing, spending time with the family, baking cookies and cakes, and generally being selfless. Instead most of us are yelling and screaming at our kids because as usual our little bundles of joy are too busy noticing the pretty lights and beautiful Christmas decorations to realize the urgency in our voice as we are rushing off to yet another Christmas party.
We pull our hair out trying to keep up with all the pressure of the holidays instead of seeing it as opportunity to practice patience. We are so busy trying to show our kids how to be generous that we forget what generosity really means. Christmas should be about slowing down and taking time to enjoy the things that only happen once a year. Christmas is about over looking the imperfections of humans. This could mean the impatient person in the car behind you, (probably rushing somewhere with a couple dozen cookies to demonstrate their kindness) it could mean the shuffling old lady in the aisle in front of you that just won’t get her rear out of the way (my secret vice!!!!). It could be our own kids who are so hyped up on sugar that they are runnning laps through the house or so tired from all the activity that they are in danger of another meldown at every turn.
Christmas is an opportunity to be amused. Nothing to me is quite as funny as watching people around the holidays. Clearly they have forgotten the reason for all the rushing around they are doing. Yes, fighting, cussing, honking, and dirty looks are all part of the holidays. You can either reciprocate or you can smile and say, ” Merry Christmas” (which is my favorite thing to do because nobody likes to see a smiley happy person right at that moment.) Not to mention the laughs you get (sometimes just to keep from crying) from that crazy relative you have to put up with every year.
Christmas is a time to realize our limits, and I am not just meaning monetarily.Since Christmas is supposed to be a season of giving we are bombarded with messages of giving every where we look.. For those of us who aren’t good at saying no this is the hardest time of the year. Almost every corner you go around someone has their hand out. Instead we should pick out a couple of causes that we feel strongly about and give to them. Demonstrate to your kids that it is good to give, but also that you must have limits too. Demonstrate those same limits with your kids too. Too me it is rediculous that there are parents out there who will go in the hole to give their kids the latest gadget( which they usually lose or break shortly after) I like to give my kids things they really want for Christmas, but I am not going to go in debt to do it because I believe that misses the whole point.
Christmas is a time for reflection. A whole year has passed and sometimes it has been a good year,sometimes a hard year, but either way there is always some thing we have learned from the year gone by. Hopefully we learned from our mistakes and work on making new ones the next year.
Christmas to me is a celebration of Christ’s birth. For some people it has no religious affiliation at all. Regardless of whether you celebrate Santa, Christ’s birth none of the above, or all of the above, regardless of whether you have great Christmas memories or really bad ones, Christmas can still be a celebration. It is what you make it. If you have bad memories you have the opportunity to make new ones and start new traditions for your kids. If you have great memories you have the chance to pass a little of that on to your family. So I guess what I am saying is that the most important thing about Christmas is opportunity. It is an opportunity to recognize differences in the way people celebrate and take something from it. Christmas gives us an opportunity more than any other time of the year to unite and celebrate together, to think about other people before ourselves and then wonder why we don’t do this all year long. It gives us a chance to wonder if we weren’t so selfish all year long would we have to spend so much time at the end of the year making up for it. It reminds me of God’s grace. At the end of the year, when God would prob really rather wipe us off the face of the earth for being selfish, he instead offered us another way to bridge the gap between he and us, Jesus.