12/3/08

Happy Holi-daze!

December already? Every year I say I’ll begin my Christmas shopping in the summer, buy holiday groceries throughout the year, and be so prepared that I can relax and enjoy the season. That’s the plan, but once again, I’m in a holi-daze. I stare into the air, wondering what I’ve forgotten, or where I’m going to find that “perfect” gift.

In this land of abundance, there are millions of things to buy. Matching those things to people isn’t easy, however, and sometimes our budget won’t cooperate with our desires. None of us want to “fail” the ones we love with an imperfect gift. There are Christmases that I’ve longed for the simpler days when children were thrilled to get fresh oranges in the toes of their Christmas stockings, and adults were content that family could finally be together—as my sweet Grandma said, “That’s all the gift I need.”

I still struggle with not wanting to “fail” loved ones, but a turning point came for me when I changed “holiday” to “holy-day.” Christmas is a sacred celebration for Christians as we remember the day Jesus broke through the barrier between heaven and earth to create a bridge for us to heaven. Remembering that doesn’t take away the stresses of the season, but it does restore some sanity. Christmas is all about Him, not us. We must make reasonable, wise choices in our giving, and spontaneous celebration must be tempered with planned pauses to reflect, or we will short-circuit the blessings of Christmas.

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