It happens every year. When I turn the calendar page to the month of November I go into panic mode. The knowledge that Thanksgiving falls this month and Christmas follows quickly on its heels, throws me into a state of anxious awareness that time and money are in short supply and that the holidays will soon be but a memory. Life begins to resemble an overturned hourglass as the last remaining days of the year all too quickly pass.
Not this year. This holiday rebel intends to celebrate Christmas with a little more simplicity, making the most of every opportunity to savor and share the love of Christ with others. In an effort to accomplish this I have assigned the task of writing our annual Christmas letter to individual members of my family. What they have to say will no doubt be more interesting than my annual report on the state of our family! Determined not to over commit my time or overspend the budget I have set, I am making my list and checking it twice, exploring my options along the way in order to stretch my gift-giving dollars and maximize family time.
I admire people who thrive during the holidays, maintaining cheerful enthusiasm despite all the baking, shopping, gift wrapping, parties, and family gatherings that fill up the calendar this time of year. But the simple pleasures -- sending Christmas cards to friends and family, driving through holiday light displays while listening to endless Christmas music on the car radio, stepping outside on a silent, starry night, and watching a few Hallmark channel Christmas movies in front of the fire with a steamy mug of hot cocoa in hand -- are the things that make the season bright, at least for me.
As a whole our society has lost sight of Christmas' true meaning. Mobs of people didn't crowd the streets of Bethlehem or flock to the market ahead of time seeking gifts for others. Instead, a handful of lowly, empty-handed shepherds rushed to a dark and smelly stable in search of the Gift that had been promised through the ages, Jesus -- the Light of the world and the very Glory of God himself.
Despite my best efforts to observe Christmas as a "holy day" rather than just another holiday, I no doubt will find myself caught up in the frenzy somewhere along the way. But with one eye on the manger and the other on the Star that will guide me there, I will bask in peace knowing that I already possess the greatest Gift of all and endeavor with all my heart to share Him with others.
Copyright © 2015 by Dee Dee Wike. All rights reserved. www.deedeewike.com