Halloween is all about the decorations, costumes and candy. St. Patrick's day is about green beer. Thanksgiving is dinner, and Valentines Day is about chocolate hearts. In American pop culture says that Christmas is about consumerism and showing others up.
I get caught up in things, including stressing about work until the break. But this year I want to take time to remember what this holiday is about. On one level it is about remembering the joy of family and friends - how there are many more delights in people than we usually see, and how our lives would be more flat and gray without them.
On a deeper level it is a time to remember how grey our lives would be without God wanting a relationship with us. This is a time to contemplate and celebrate. One of my favorite carols is “Oh Holy Night”, and I always pause when I hear the lines:
Long lay the world in sin and error pining
Till he appear'd and the soul felt its worth.
I love the line about the soul felt its worth. I hope this doesn't sound preachy, but I have found truth in the fact that the deeper my relationship with Christ is, the more richness I find in myself and in the world around me.
Celebrating does include decorating the house, giving gifts and watching How the Grinch Stole Christmas. But when these things become the focus, then I have lost the Spirit of Christmas. So I have brought in our Charlie Brown Christmas tree (it is a living tree. I don't begrudge those who cut down a tree, but I like keeping the same one for several years and eventually planting them) and will eventually trim it. However it isn't to be a stress - my soul is worth a lot more than that.
Joie de Vivre ~ A Hearty Joy of Living!