28 Days Until Christmas!
It’s 28 days until Christmas and today is Black Friday! This day has traditionally been the day when people set aside time, money, and effort to honor Jesus by buying more stuff than should be allowed. Or as Dave Ramsey says it, “We buy stuff we do not need, with money we don’t have, to impress people we don’t like.” I do not say this in an accusatory manner as Missy and I have shopped on this day for many years. We have dug through the ads, the deals, comparing notes, strategizing which stores to hit first, holding places, in line, and so on.
This year was a little different as crowds were down, dining in was closed (in our county), most shopping was being done on-line, and I would assume shopping overall will be down with the job losses associated with the COVID shut-downs. But the overall push to buy, buy, buy was still there. It started earlier in the month (some say to limit crowds in stores, I say to be the first store to get a jump start on sales) and continues on through the coming December month.
With five younger children at home (Owen would not be happy being called younger at 13 years old), the itch to buy toys and gifts is very strong. My responsibility is not to eliminate all forms of commercialism but to make sure my children know the priority. The priority isn’t what is under the tree but who the tree represents. The priority isn’t a new gaming pc, but a baby in a manger. The joy of Christmas is not a real-life baby doll but the savior of the world who entered that first Christmas as a helpless baby. The peace of Christmas is not in Visa financing my purchases but the hope Jesus alone can give.
Perhaps my favorite image in the last several years has been the one of Santa kneeling at the manger. It helps me, my wife, and my kids keep the proper perspective of what Christmas is all about.
This Christmas, I will be joining you in shopping, wrapping, and getting excited like a little kid at Christmas. But let me tell you, my true lasting joy will be in Jesus. I hope to instill this in my children and I hope you will make the same effort, too. Do that and we all can say with real conviction: