How about we all declare a “war on Christmas” this year and we don’t buy anything for anyone? Celebrate by spending time with family. Make gifts, if you must give them. Make presence be your present. We cannot object to the commercialization of Christmas with our mouths and then support it with our wallets.
Christmas has become a tiresome event. It has grown into a monstrosity. It has become a reason to buy everything in sight and wear ourselves out. We have forgotten that Christmas was first celebrated in a stable, quietly, in the back alley of a nowhere town. It was celebrated by three people, surprised, alone, and unprepared. And yet it was enough. It was exactly enough.
We have forgotten in the midst of all the tinsel and paper and layaway plans that Christmas is about welcoming God into our lives. We have forgotten the joy of knowing that we are not alone in this lonesome world. God came to us, in the form of a helpless child, born to unwed parents, in a desolate and desperate time.
God comes to us, like that. God comes to all of us, quietly, surprisingly, in the middle of our tears and our troubles. God comes to us where we are, as we are. We don’t have to be perfect or well dressed or well educated. We just have to be ourselves, open to the questions.
What if God is real?
What if God loves us so much that God comes down to be with us, instead of us having to go to God?
What if “eternal life” means waking up, now, and living life fully?
Sometimes the questions frighten us more than the answers.
With the commercialization of Christmas we have traded big spending for the Baby. We have traded materialism for the Message. We’ve put so much “stuff” on top of the beauty of what Christmas really means that we can’t see it anymore.
Drop it all. Drop the lights and the show and the money. Drop it. It is holding us back. We’ve been fed artificial flavoring and coloring for so many years that we’ve forgotten what reality tastes like. “Taste and see that the Lord is good” (Psalm 34:8)