We’re more or less skipping Christmas this year. I’ve told several people when they ask, “Are you ready for Christmas?” Asking is one of the thing good Americans do. But I’m going on with my daily routines, not because of the so called commercialism a lot of folks love to rave about, but because of the time and work that’s needed to fulfill the requirements and expectations of the holiday. I know a lot of people glory in those things, and I hope everything goes smoothly and well, for them.
We grass-root Americans are the cream of the crop, the salt of the earth, but we may have one or two weaknesses. One weakness may be to expect others to be like us. That’s the downside of tradition. The upside is lovely celebrations, being together with people you love, color, movement, music, gifts (if you need or want something and the givers choose correctly.)
The first four people I said no to when they asked, “Are you ready for Christmas?” gave me agreeable and kindly responses like, “I wish we could do that.” Those were men. One dear man asked if we were changing religions, though. I told him we weren’t skipping Jesus, not at all. The women gave a little different answer depending on whether they had children or grandchildren. Those selfless people struggle to do their best to make a memory and they love it and feel good about what they have accomplished. I do not begrudge them.
I did my best to make Christmas magical when our children and grandchildren were growing up. I bought them presents with money Bill earned, I put up a tree, and I baked. I was a good daughter and sister, too. I bought and sent packages to California and New Mexico and I spent hours writing Christmas cards with messages in them. The year I noticed that I was busy most of every day of December I began to think about slowing down. There were other things I’d rather be doing. For some, I know, the work of Christmas is a joy and I say God bless you in every endeavor. I know what fun those things can be.
This year I thought I’d watch Christmas movies to get me in the mood. Wouldn’t, “Are you in the in the mood for Christmas,” be a more telling question than are you ready for Christmas? Some people are in the mood and some aren’t, but why should anybody have to measure up to someone else’s perceptions about it? Let each of us know God and know ourselves and do what is right for us and our families.
Over the years, I’ve quit baking, reduced the number of gifts, and slowed down on decorating. This year I’m doing none of those things. This is the happiest and lightest Christmas I’ve ever had. Mostly I’m loving the music and other people’s decorations, we’re not so much into sweets anymore, but I don’t care what others think or do. I’m mature enough to make up my own mind what to focus on.
Even with all the conflict, I do thank God for giving His son, Jesus Christ, to walk with us through our time on earth and to forgive our trespasses… I do love Jesus. He is the greatest gift we could ever have received, and I’m satisfied with all the blessings he has given us, especially our friends and family. Please don’t judge us and we won’t judge you. We wish you a wonderful Christmas. And by the way, we’re grateful for every good (and bad) thing that comes our way, including any opportunity to show love to others.
Romans 12:2The Message (MSG)
Place Your Life Before God
12 1-2 So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.
Top ten Christmas Hymns