I have a love/hate relationship with Christmas. On one hand, I love Christmas and cannot wait for it to come. However, the other part of me dreads Christmas and wishes we could stall it for as long as possible.
I love all the beautiful meanings associated with Christmas. Whether you celebrate Christmas as a religious holiday or just as a time to show love to the people in your life, it brings out the good in us. People wish each other well and take time to remember and catch up with those they care for and those who are less fortunate.
It can also bring out the bad in us. I hate the greed that comes with the season. Whether it is about profits or who has the most packages or biggest toys, it is ugly. Regardless of your motivation for celebration: God sent his Son to save us, Santa bringing presents to good little girls and boys, or both, It is about giving not getting. Greed does not profit us. It makes us less than we could be.
I often become frustrated at Christmas. I don't like to say what I want but I want to know what the people I love want. I want Christmasy food but don't always want to put out the effort involved. I want to decorate but really do not like to undecorate. I don't want the stress and the aggravation and the discord that comes with large holidays. Do you notice a theme here? This is my own kind of selfishness and greed.
As I am writing this, I realize that I don't really love/hate Christmas. I really do love it, I just wish it was all tidy and pretty and joy filled like a beautifully wrapped present. We all know that sometimes that is just not the case.
I wish Christmas did not show me so many of my flaws. I know what they are, but Christmas makes them stand out to me. I wish I mailed cards and packages on time and did not get irritated with shoppers, and cashiers, and Santas and bell ringers and I wish that I wanted inexpensive things or better yet, no things. I want to like to cook for my family and enjoy cleaning up when I 'm done. After all, who says all our "wants" have to be realistic?
The thing is, I'm not perfect. Who has been except Jesus? There are days when I love everything about Christmas and days I want to cry and call the whole season off. As far as I can see though, the good outweighs the bad by tons. And so, like most years, I start early. I shop. I just don't mail things on time. I play Christmas music way to early for my family, especially Afton. Dave humors me, sometimes Effie sings along and Afton slowly goes insane. I view this as training for when she is a mom and will often be driven insane by her children.
I decorate the day after Thanksgiving if I can and usually go to the crazy sales that day, too. I elbow through with everyone else and try to be cheery while I do it. Poor Dave hates Christmas shopping but he loves me so he goes along. His love is the best present he has ever given me.
For so many reasons, I keep right on loving Christmas. I have spent it at the beach in warm weather, with snow and cold, with all my family and with none of my family, with my husband and without. In all these situations, there were reasons to go on loving this holiday. Whether you are in the arms of those you love or clutching the phone as if by this you can pull them closer as you listen to their voice, their love is always around you. Love is what makes Christmas so special. Take away the presents and the decorations and all the other "things" and the love is still there. So to all of you reading this-I send you my love and wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy and Blessed New Year.