I have to admit: I get pretty frustrated with the Christmas season as it has become.
The commercialization and extreme excess of the holiday is overwhelming to me. I want a quiet day in which we can just relax and reflect on the importance and meaning of Christmas. The true meaning of the season- the birth of our Savior and the indescribable and outrageous gift that Jesus is to believers. What I experience is generally far from quiet and spiritual. The gift giving and preparation for Christmas is overwhelming. It seems like an abomination of a religious holiday. And it is. But the key word here is religious.
My friend Brian shared a Christmas revelation with me this morning. He was also a bit frustrated with the events of the day. He felt like he was not giving the Lord the focus that He deserved. Then the Lord spoke to him and reassured him: It’s OK to celebrate. It’s OK to have fun. It’s OK to exchange gifts. Go ahead- have a day of celebration. I am still God and I still love you!
My experience Christmas day was also the typical day of gift giving and excess, yet there were sweet times with family and friends. In the midst of the chaos of the day, I was able to connect with them in a deeper way. And through the time together and the gift giving, I was able to receive the feeling of being truly loved by them. So, like Brian, I was given a glimpse of the Father’s love for me.
My take away from this years Christmas is this: Christmas is a bit out of control, yet it’s good to celebrate, to appreciate others and enjoy the sweetness of the season. I must be intentional to connect with family and friends and enjoy the opportunities of the Christmas season. Rather than getting frustrated and trying to change things, I need to embrace the good of the Christmas season and let God take care of the rest. The correct response is gratitude and worship, not frustration and guilt!
So going forward, I must focus less on the excess and commercialization and focus more on the amazing opportunities of the Holiday season. Opportunities to reconnect, mend or deepen relationships. Opportunities to show my love for my wife, family and friends. Opportunities to appreciate the incredible and amazing blessings that the Lord has provided to me and my family. For me, this revelation is my greatest gift this year. And my response must be like the shepherds in the Christmas story: To bow and worship the Savior King!