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December 1st

"It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas..." whether sung by Johnny Mathis or Michael Buble, its the same... Christmas is coming. In fact, as I peeled November off of my work calendar, I had to catch my breath a little. We have 25 days. That's it, folks. Are you ready? 

I will be honest... I'm not. In fact, I am really struggling this year. Let me explain why. 

A couple months ago I joined a community orchestra. Our first concert, of course, is a "holiday" concert and we are, therefore, playing nothing but "holiday" music. Because of this, I have been singing, humming, and whistling Christmas music since about mid-October. I couldn't wait for Halloween and Thanksgiving to pass us by so I could focus on Christmas! In fact, I was begging to put our tree up 2 months ago!! (I lost this battle, by the way). 

Then this happened: 

Commercials, news reports, overheard dialogue, social media and various other communications ALL focused on... you guessed it... SHOPPING and DECORATING and DEALS and all things supposedly "Christmas." This has really just made me think. A lot. 

See, I am finding myself rather disgusted lately... a bit of a Scrooge. Why do we find ourselves becoming slaves to the material world and monetary idolization? Its happening all around us! Maybe even to us! Just open your eyes! We have to have the perfect tree (or trees), we have to buy the perfect gift and will give up things that matter (i.e. time with family) to stand in line for the perfect bargain, picture-perfect home decorations, loads of gifts to spoil even those who already have so much... the list could go on and on. 

As I sit here and say really? This is what we have come to? (Its been this way for years, yes, but I am just now catching on... ) Did we forget why we celebrate Christmas? I mean, its the celebration of the birth of Jesus!! You know, the Son of God who teaches us to be HUMBLE and to serve others. The one who teaches us about focusing our attention off of our worldly desires and on to Him. 

For they mouth empty, boastful words and, by appealing to the lustful desires of the flesh, they entice people who are just escaping from those who live in error. ~ 2 Peter 2:18

Nobody is perfect - I know that! We all sin. We all have desires that we shouldn't. We all do things that we know we should refrain from. I am not trying to say that how you are living and preparing for your Christmas celebration is any more right or wrong from how I am preparing for mine. I just wanted to share that I feel a bit brokenhearted that we get so swept away from what we are truly supposed to be focused on in order to seek perfection in something as insignificant as a table centerpiece.

What would happen if we all stopped shopping and instead huddled together with loved ones in prayer and fellowship, simply awaiting a feast and celebration of the anniversary of the birth of Jesus? Our minds having to focus on nothing else. Sounds peaceful, doesn't it? 

Just in case you need a reminder of what its all about, click here.

And because I want to make you all warm and fuzzy and look for what matters in your own Christmas family traditions...


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