It's no secret that I don't much like the Christmas season. I mean, I do love the anticipation, the Christmas morning rush, the buying of the gifts for my kids. I don't like the wondering-what-to-buy-for-other-people buying gifts. I don't like going to the store. I don't like spending of lots of money. I love the Christmas hymns, but I prefer to keep them in the two week window during Christmas. I'm all annoyed with the sending and receiving obligatory Christmas cards. Lighting up the whole neighborhood with twinkle lights. I don't understand why this particular holiday has just blown up, gone way overboard. What did we do?
Why is it that we spend the entire month of December planning for this one day? We spend so much money on making sure that everyone has a gift, and that everything is perfect.
Then you take a moment and pause and think about the nice things that people do for each other. How many people really do donate to the red cross or angel trees? How many good citizens buy toys for needy kids? How many people reach out to their neighbors with plates of cookies or other goodies, standing on a doorstep in cold weather to make sure that your neighbor is okay? How many people surprise somebody with a 50$ bill in a Christmas card with no return address?
We are not a needy family. We very well could be. We don't do the extra stuff in life, and are very conservative with our money. We budget, plan ahead, and save. There are times when just being poor sucks. But we are not "needy". Our kids will have Christmas, and I prefer the small Christmas of only a few toys and some needed socks and underwear.
Then something comes in the mail, and you swallow your pride and accept it with graciousness and humility. Why? Because someday, when I have extra to share, I'm going to do the same thing. Not because somebody is destitute, but because maybe they need a bit of a boost. Maybe they have worked hard all year, and a baby is coming, and they don't have everything that they need just yet. Maybe they are worrying about paying for the insurance deductible, replacing the soggy kitchen floor, or buying meat for the next two weeks. Maybe by somebody taking the time to slip some money in an envelope, makes them feel like they are loved, noticed, or cared about. Just maybe.
So I guess that is the reason everybody gets all mushy and soft on Christmas. Has it happened to you? Have you been the recipient of something uplifting? Or have you been the one to give? Have you had the blessing of knowing that somebody is thinking about you, and really does wish you well for the next year? Or have you been the one who worried about someone, and just wanted to make sure they knew that someone cared?
I guess that is what Christmas is all about, really.
"It's not what lies beneath the tree; but in the hearts of me and thee."