Friday, December 3, 2010
Tis the Season
It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas.......
There is something so special about this time of year. I think I speak for a lot of Christians when I say that the world has turned this to a season of profit and squelched the true meaning. It disappoints me when I think about it. A few seasons spent working retail tainted my view a little as well. Christmas became a time to dread. I am so thankful that I got away from that line of work so that my thoughts could again cherish this time of wonder and humbleness.
I think mostly of Mary when I reflect on the original Christmas. I try to imagine how she must have felt to be told that she would bare the Christ child. I'm sure there were so many emotions that flooded that young girl. I have to believe that a part of her was terrified initially, but I think that didn't last long. I don't believe that God would've chosen her if her faith was weak. I think she was more honored and humbled that she was chosen than she was selfishly thinking of the reactions of others. I think she knew without a doubt that it would all work out. She had no time to be frightened at the aspect of being pregnant with no husband, or frightened of bearing a child, frightened of labor pains, frightened of her parents reaction, frightened for her life. I think her time was consumed with thoughts of praise and thankfulness and marveling at what possibilities God could have in store not only for her, but for His people, Israel.
Christmas to me is a time to think about the sacrifice God made when he became flesh and left His throne. He knew even before that moment that the prophecy must be fulfilled. He knew that only the Lamb could save us from our sins and conquer death so that we might live. The true gift was given.
When I shop for gifts, I try to get something specifically for that person. I could never give them what our Lord gave us. But, I want to show my love through my gifts, just as He showed His love through His gift. Of course, the material things that I pass out around the tree pale in comparison, but I hope the thought is a true representation of my love for that person. No amount of money can compare to the love that I try so hard to put into that package. Of course, I try to get them something that they want, which is usually something that will not last and will not bring true joy, but I could never fill that with a simple shopping list. Only the Lord, only our Savior could give the Ultimate Gift. I just hope that I can give in a way that is symbolic and in tradition and remembrance of HIM.
Growing up, my grandparents came over on Christmas morning. We'd have breakfast and then open gifts. My papaw would make a production out of opening his gifts. He would shake them, smell them, and after only removing a corner of paper pour out thank you after thank you. He was a clown.
My granny on the other hand, was an actress. She would buy her own gifts that were supposed to be from my papaw, wrap them and put them under the tree. When she opened them, you would almost be convinced that papaw spent countless hours dodging patrons to find the exact color and fit that would suit her. She raved and oohed and awed to her faithful companion, praising him for his wonderful gift. I think she nearly convinced herself that he'd been the one to buy it instead of her.
One of my favorite gifts of all time was a watch set that my Dad bought me. It was one face that popped into several different bands in a variety of pastels. That fit me to a tee. I was the kid whose play clothes even had to match, so the thought of a watch to go with each outfit was ingenious!
Another of my favorite gifts was my Granny's ring. My Granny passed away in March of '98. We found her engagement ring-which we didn't think was of any material value-with a cut through the band. She had horrible arthritis, and my Papaw had to cut her rings off of her because she couldn't get them over her swollen joints. Even with the sliced band, the ring fit my finger perfectly. It meant something to me that her ring fit my finger. That our ring fingers had been the same size. Well, that Christmas, my parents had the ring fixed and gave it to me. I will always cherish it as well as the memory.
My first Christmas as a wife and stepmother was so meaningful. I think it clicked in me that year. From that Christmas on, I haven't cared if I ever get another gift, but I've wanted to buy Chase everything I could. It is such fun to buy for a child and my own at that. I love to buy for him, and he is very entertaining when he opens his gifts too. He always seems thankful for everything he gets too, even if it's clothes.
Christmas seems to go by faster all the time. I know when we were kids, we couldn't imagine it going by faster than it did then. I hope that this Christmas, you have time to think about what is Christmas. To think about Jesus, and be with family and enjoy a church service or two that pays tribute to this momentous occasion. I hope you don't feel guilty for eating too much or spending too much, but that you can hear the laughter echoing in your ears, see little ones with bright, expectant eyes, and maybe let one tear of thankfulness escape to trail down your face.
~I actually wrote this post on Friday, but hadn't added the pictures yet. This morning, our pastor talked about Mary, and how she must have felt when approached by the angel. He also talked about her humbleness and faith. I thought that was so awesome! By Tuesday, you can probably hear his message at http://www.garnerbaptist.org/