Saturday, December 18, 2010

Putting aside the Hustle and Bustle

During the holiday season days are filled with people rushing from here to there in hopes of grabbing that next great steal of a deal to fill up the space below their Christmas tree. Rush, rush, rush and soon we're all burnt out and devoid of the Christmas spirit. We begin to loathe hearing those jolly Christmas tunes on the local radio. As our cash flow grows thinner and thinner, we're no longer buying and giving from the heart but we now resort to finding anything at all that will just get the job done!  By the time Christmas Eve rolls around, we've already got several holiday parties and programs under our belts. We've prepared meals for family gatherings. We've bought those Secret Santa gifts, thinking the whole time that we're leaving that party with a gift as good as what we bought.  You know you always leave wishing you'd just gotten back what you purchased instead!!!  Everything is all about the rush. The never ending tick-tock of the minutes and seconds as they draw us closer and closer to a deadline. See, we're no longer thinking of the Birth of Christ as the meaning of Christmas.  We're just rushing to meat a deadline of gifts and parties and gatherings that are expected of us.  So, I'm taking some time out of my busy schedule to let you know what Christmas means to me.
  Christmas.  It's a word that is slowly being shut out of our schools and neighborhoods. Instead of a Christmas tree, it's now a holiday tree. No longer are their Christmas breaks in school, instead it's a Winter break. Forget Christmas songs in the school and workplace... you guessed it - Holiday Music! Our world is slowly, but much to quick for my liking, pushing Christ out of Christmas. I don't understand this at all. Christmas is only around because of Christ! Had he not been born, there would be no Christmas!  So my Christmas Tribute this year is The Christmas Story. I'm taking the text from the King James Bible. I read other versions, but there are just some things that I love hearing from the KJV of the Bible.  I'm using the passage from Luke chapter 1 verses 1-20.

Luke 2

 1And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be taxed.
 2(And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.)
 3And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city.
 4And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:)
 5To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child.
 6And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered.
 7And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.
 8And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.
 9And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.
 10And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.
 11For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.
 12And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.
 13And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,
 14Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.
 15And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us.
 16And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger.
 17And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child.
 18And all they that heard it wondered at those things which were told them by the shepherds.
 19But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart.
 20And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them.

    This is what Christmas means to me. Not running from here to there trying to meet a deadline of gifts and gatherings. But taking the day, Christmas Day, to remember the first of the greatest events in history that pertain directly to me. The birth of the man who gave His life so that I might have salvation! That's what Christmas is to me.
    Sure I buy gifts and I'm somewhat involved in the hustle and bustle of everything, but I never let my mind wander away from the true meaning of why there is a Christmas Day. After all, it's HIS Birthday, well the day we celebrate it! And who doesn't love birthdays :)  My kids will wake up on Christmas Day, and they'll see all their gifts around the tree. But no tearing into any gifts until we've done our Happy Birthday Jesus time. They really love having a cupcake or something with candles in it, singing Happy Birthday Jesus, and then they get to blow out the candle. It may not make any sense to you, but to us it makes perfect sense to honor Jesus birth like this. So if any of you have any special Happy Birthday Jesus traditions, feel free to comment and share! Oh, and Merry CHRISTmas to each and every one of you!


Hope Filled Living said...

Thank you for reminding us of the TRUE meaning of Christmas. I went to the mall yesterday with my daughter and our hearts ached at the commercialism. It was sad to see everyone hustling and bustling around...some with very little money in this economy, doing the best they know how to do but missing the point. We ended up not buying anything, but left.
Bless you.

Anonymous said...

aww I think that's a GREAT tradition to start christmas morning!!! And what child wouldn't love that? It instills good values, and shows the truth to the meaning behind Christmas, before all the other things start like presents, etc. I'm not an overly religious person, but I try to do the buying of presents, parties to go to, etc. slowly so I enjoy the time I have with my loved ones and don't end up more stressed at a time when it's meant to show your love and appreciation for everyone in your life. I think taking Christ/mas out of this time of year is just awful and silly!