I’ve been posting a lot about the busy joyfulness of making gifts for family members – whether knitted, crafted, or baked. It’s been so much fun! I’ve also posted about the person Christmas celebrates: Jesus, God’s Son. However, I’ve been thinking about Christmas and asking myself: Why do we bother so much about this same day every single year?
Picture this. A family spends a whole month (or perhaps longer) thinking about, preparing for, shopping for, looking forward to, making plans for, buying food for, one day at the end of December. It’s overwhelming, expensive, and all-consuming. It can lead to family arguments about who attends which home on which day. It can cause stress for parents who feel under pressure from their children or other parents or the media to buy the most expensive gifts. Then, on the day, people gather together to exchange gifts and eat a lot of food. Why? What is in it for most people? What is the purpose of Christmas?
For some, it’s being on holiday with family. For others, it’s about cooking, eating, and relaxing. For others, giving presents. For many around the world, it’s just a normal day.
I’ve been a bit saddened by the comments and posts I’ve seen on social media and in articles the past few weeks. People saying they ‘can’t be bothered’ with Christmas, or they ‘don’t know what to buy’ for people, or inevitably, after the day, ‘I’m so sad it’s all over’ or ‘Never again’. Why all the focus on just one day?
A life of grace and giving doesn’t stop when the turkey has been eaten and the floor is strewn with crumbs of mince pie and scraps of wrapping paper. Giving is an attitude which puts others ahead of ourselves, doesn’t look for glory, and goes beyond mere duty. The poor woman in the temple who gave just two small coins to God gave more than the rich man who put in far more in monetary value, but far less in generosity. This coming year, I’d love to be more like that woman – giving of myself, my time, my gifts, and my money generously, freely, and joyfully.
Just my two cents’ worth.