Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Holiday Grace

I don't usually think/indulge/entertain/do anything Christmasy until December 1.  It has been my die-hard rule ever since I was an adult living on my own.  On that day I let loose and watch the movies and listen to the music and decorate and make Christmas shopping lists, peruse Pinterest for all the things I'd love to bake but probably won't, etc., but not a moment sooner.  My reason for that is I get tired of it too soon if I start too soon. November 13... I watched a Christmas movie on Netflix.  I actually haven't finished it yet, but I started it whilst folding clothes with Eloise.  Yep.  I did.  And I'm already allowing myself to wonder how I'm going to decorate for Christmas with "Reachy and Grabby" (a.k.a. Eloise) living here.  And I have my Christmas shopping list started... Don't make fun of me because you could very well be on it.

Okay... Black Friday haters... goodness me!  I love Thanksgiving.  I love the food and the family and the hiking and the fall weather and the thankfulness.  And I am thankful!  With tears in my eyes and a heart full of all the things I don't deserve, I am thankful.  But there is something I enjoy about getting up early, not to run mind you, but to shop with my sister and my mom (or some years with my Mom-in-law).  I love this. It is more about scoring a deal on someone's Christmas present or maybe a new sweater than about grabbing everything I can get my hands on, elbowing people out of the way, and pulling hair over the last Play Station 400.  There is just something exciting to me about the crowds up at 5:00 a.m., not for a race mind you, but to find a deal!  I can't speak to what their motives are, but I know mine and it is a time of bonding with my favorite women.  We laugh, we shop, we drink peppermint mochas and eat something savory and calorific for breakfast.  We get excited when we find a find for $5.00 off, and I come home with a few presents to put under my tree and a few pennies saved.

Christmas 07 - two kids and their toys
That brings me to Christmas.  Again, what is with the people who think we are all greedy, glutinous, horrible people because we like Christmas?  It isn't about the STUFF!  It is about the family time, the pretty decorations, the warmth, the love, the giving, the sweets and yes, it is about Jesus Christ for some of us.  Those who judge harshly and say we shouldn't celebrate His birth because it is a pagan holiday and if we do celebrate, we are doing it incorrectly because we like to give gifts to our loved ones and put up a Christmas tree... what I want to know is how do THEY know what God is thinking about it?  And how do they know the state of my heart when I participate?  And how do they know what God thinks of my heart and participation?  Whoa.  Talk about being big for your britches!

I think the Black Friday thing and the Christmas thing need balance, sure.  And I also believe we don't know the hearts and motives behind everyone's reason for celebrating what and how they celebrate (unless we sit down with them over coffee and inquire).

You know what I think we all need?  MORE GRACE!  Give your fellow man a break.  This age of social media has allowed us to share opinions and thoughts with the world (our 685 friends) that can be awfully harsh to our "friends" and the funny thing is, those brazen, outspoken souls who post judgmental know-it-all ugliness probably wouldn't say that if sitting with me or you over coffee.  And that's just it.  If you haven't taken a moment to sit with me over coffee and ask me why I do what I do, how can you say I'm wrong and horrible and greedy and a Black Friday shopping heathen?

So here's what I think.  I'm sharing my two cents for the world (my 3 readers).  Maybe instead of figuring out why everyone else is so wrong this holiday season, we should dole out an extra helping of grace with our turkey and dressing.  Don't be so arrogant as to assume you know what is up in our heads as we set our alarms for 4:45 a.m. not to run mind you, but to shop with our faves.  Maybe if we get all excited over our Christmas tree lights, you should not assume we don't try to love and honor Christ every single day of our lives.  Grace.  Humility.  Love.  Those are some gifts you can give to all of us Black-Friday-shopping-Christmas-present-buying-pagan-Christ-followers. 

And now that I've had my say, I will return to my clothes folding and premature enjoyment of "The Christmas Kiss." 

1 comment:

  1. I love, love this! I have read and reread it. And it makes me happy. Love you!