Christmas has changed since I was a child. The four of us kids slept in the same room and Christmas was always a special time. If you looked carefully through the vent you would see into the living room to view the Christmas tree. All decked out with both homemade ornaments a whole lot of tinsel. Mom and Dad would never put our presents under the tree until the night before. The anticipation for the big day was palpable. The change in this experience of Christmas is a change in expectation. Kids submit there “have to have” list and expect the parents to come through. The guess work is all gone. There is no awe.
It could well be that Christmas now starts almost a month earlier during the Thanksgiving celebration. With Black Friday and Cyber Monday, it seems so contrived and commercialized. It feels like the day after Halloween the Christmas commercials begin. I try to hold Christmas at bay in my mind until after Thanksgiving.
In a world drowning in trinkets and knickknacks, reruns and plastic, people are hungry for the real thing.
The celebration has become an event. Big difference. One is filled with awe and expectation, and the other is just one more milestone to mark off the calendar.
At the heart of the celebration is not a tree and presents. It is not Santa and red-nosed reindeer. What it is and what will instill in my life the rightful place of awe, is to understand it is about a single gift. A gift given freely by a man almost 2000 years ago. It is a gift that met a need of my life for redemption. It was a gift that was both revelation and reconciliation. And He did it for me.
I don’t believe there’s a formula that helps overwhelmed, sometimes jaded, struggling-for-a-new-Noel-angle members to reclaim our lost wonder. I just know that when I don’t have it, I can’t fake it. And in a world drowning in trinkets and knickknacks, reruns and plastic, people are hungry for the real thing. So I’ll keep fighting for wonder, and if you battle with me, we’ll have something great to bring to Christmas.