Fall Equinox is September 22 which means that today, September 20, is a summer day. Living in the south but raised in the northeast I’d have to say it sure feels like summer to me. So, what marks this time of year where I live?
- Heat and humidity are less oppressive
- Days are already a wee bit shorter
- The garden yields a bit less
- The grass grows a wee bit more slowly
- The ads for toys have grown exponentially
- Christmas trees, wreaths, wrapping papers, cards, and candy are on sale
Yes, you heard me. If, like me, your economy doesn’t allow for much shopping, you may not have seen the trappings of Christmas on shelves and sidewalk sales on this still late summer day, but even in my limited shopping I have seen it for quite some time already. At first it didn’t impact me too much. To some degree I am desensitized by our societal quest to turn everything in life into a sales opportunity. Then I read something yesterday which stopped me. “I can’t afford a Christmas this year” were the words spoken by a minister who is also a Mom. That stopped me in my tracks. I realize many do not and will not see Christmas as the holy day it is, was, and was meant to be. I realize we do not all have the same values and belief systems. I also assume one who speaks of not affording a Christmas likely does celebrate it and thus shares my Christian beliefs. Seems to me in difficult times I am more aware than ever of my Christian beliefs as I pray, plead, and hold onto the hands of the Lord so tightly that I am white knuckled. Have we really become so focused on bows and wrapping and shiny plastic Santas that the celebration of Christmas has lost its holy aspects? Has it become simply another shopping season and nothing more?
- Consumer spending online $35.3 billion
- Consumer spending from Dec 1 – 24 was 4.7 percent higher than prior year
- December 26 spending reported at $7.1 billion
In my community each year the number of school aged children who are only provided with meals while in public school and go hungry on the weekends aside from donated nonperishable foods discretely given to them from Back Pack Buddies programs increases every year. Do you see a disconnect here? There are many discussions and articles on the subject of our celebration of Christmas including whether or not Christians should celebrate it at all. Does this trouble you? It does me. It is not my intent to convey a “forget about it” opinion on the celebration of Christmas nor is it my intent to eliminate gift giving. I do, however, believe this should be viewed and celebrated more as a holy day and less as a holiday. I will bake cookies. I will put up a tree. I will send some cards. I will give some gifts. I will also remember the following with a thankful heart:
“And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.” John 1:14