Well, it's here...and well under way.
Christmas. The holiday season. The hustle and the bustle and the baking and the shopping. The smells of cinamon and fresh pine. The wrapping and the bows. Jingle bells and misteltoe.
Trips to the post-office and traffic at the malls...fighting for a parking place and happy to get one at the other end of the lot. Making a list and checking it twice. Parties and family gatherings.
The happy season where everyone is in the "Christmas spirit", right?
Well, unless you're my son. We noticed that he was a little "bah-humbug" this year. It started early and we've been teasing him about it. "Hey, you are just a little bit like the Grinch this year buddy!", we've all said.
Back in October when the stores started their decorating? He was "bah-humbug". Okay, I get that. A bit too early for me too.
Then, November...near Thanksgiving. The sale ads and the "black Friday" frenzy: still, he was "bah=humbug". Well, okay. A 13 year-old boy isn't expected to like the shopping part.
But then last week...3 weeks 'till Christmas..."bah-humbug" at every Christmas song that came on the radio. No excitement about the decorating. Okay...NOW I seriously am thinking he should be more "spirit filled". I mean, it's CHRISTMAS time! EVERYONE is happy this time of year...right??!!! Well, aparently not.
Fast forward to 3 days ago. Don and I were having lunch together and he mentioned how amazing our son is (no disagreement there...he is. He really is). Don proceeded to tell me about a little conversation he had with Jordan, and I'll recap it here:
Don: Hey, why are you so "bah-humbug" this year?
Jordan: Christmas just seems so dumb to me.
Don: Really? Why do you say that?
Jordan: Well, I don't know...I mean, I like getting presents and everything, and it's not that I don't like Christmas or anything, but it just seems so commercialized to me. It's SUPPOSED to be all about Jesus, but hardly anyone even acts like it. It seems like all it's about is shopping, spending money and stores making money. It just seems to me that hardly anyone really remembers Jesus in the whole thing.
I felt my heart leap...twice. I mean, here was a 13 year old boy who was truly "getting it". I realized in that moment that he wasn't being "bah-humbug" AT ALL. He wasn't lacking the "Christmas spirit"...he was filled with the "Holy Spirit" and feeling like the whole reason for the season has gotten diluted with the worldliness of it all!
If we in fact are celebrating the birth of our Lord and Saviour, why should His "Birthday" have any BEARING on our economy, either for good OR for bad? Why should we CARE if it has any bearing on the economy? Why does our economy---the p&l statements and 4th quarter earnings for major corporations---even get mixed up into conversations surrounding the birth of Jesus Christ?
I mean honestly, our economy gets a boost because we all go out and spend millions and millions of dollars, MOST of us getting ourselves into debt in the process, only to give to people that aren't even...in need. As a token of our "love and giving"...to represent our "love for Christ".
Uh oh. I'm starting to sound a bit...bah-humbug.
I'll bet our economy would REALLY suffer if everyone just decided to do what Jesus did while He was on earth...give from the heart without spending a single dime. Give freely and give to those who REALLY need to be given to. Give from our cupboards to the poor. Pull out one of our 5 coats to give to someone who doesn't have one. Give one of the sets of mittens and scarves from among the many different color-coordinated sets we have in our drawers to someone with cold fingers standing on the street corner begging for a dollar. And actually give FIFTY dollars to someone asking for a quarter. Give up a parking space for the person behind you...and YOU go to the next available one, even if it's way out in the south 40.
Oh...wait. That won't work. We can't all stop spending at Christmas time...our economy is in a major recession and we've been depending on the commercial sales of the Christmas Season to bolster it every year. Spending money and going into debt is the traditional way of celbrating God's FREE GIFT TO US!!! Right???!!!???
Maybe the spirit of Christmas has gotten lost in the well-meaning tradition of it's origins many years ago. Maybe it's time to get it back.
Jordan, you are my sincere hero, apart from Jesus Himself. You are a shining light in a very darkened world. You are my joy...and I love you very much.
Suddenly, Christmas seems very dumb to me too.