Friday, December 15, 2006

I wrote the following on my friend Marcia Ford's blog today, and liked it so much I'm including it here today as well:

Sadly, Christmas can just feel like a whole lot of extra work piled up high at a time of year when things already seem busy without mercy. Or, it at times feels like a big bill or balloon payment that comes due tht end of the year--around the same time I have to renew my homeowners' insurance and pay my taxes!
If anything is evidence of how shallow our culture's understanding of God's transcendence and immanence has become, just gaze at how small the manger is compared to the material madness and the stress associated with checking things off of the list.

What I've tried to do in order to counter this--especially this year--is to get the "essential" things done early, and therfore pay more attention to the spirit of the season during the final weeks. I've been striving for years now to simplify things and gradually surrender to the idea of keeping up with everybody else at Christmastime. We still buy a truckload of gifts for our kids, but I'm not getting into fights while standing in line for TurboMan!!! (a not so subtle nod to the great holiday film Jingle All the Way)


At 11:55 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

We haven't gotten caught up in Christmas this year and I'm not sure why. It may have to do that we're going to an island with my family (where they live) where power comes from a generator that's only on 3 hours a day and they catch their own rainwater.

Flying gifts from alaska to the carribbean (other than supplies for them) seems goofy and the result is a lack of goo this holiday season. Intriguing. But then again, I'm also not the one hosting.

At 10:29 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Last year we agreed as a family not to give each other gifts. Okay, so of course I put a few things in my daughters' stockings (they were 17 and 22), and they gave gifts to us, but still, it wasn't much. It turned out to be the best and most relaxing Christmas day ever. We simply enjoyed being together, laughing about everything we didn't get and didn't need. It was absolutely peaceful.

This year we've asked our kids not to give us "stuff." Since I know they can't help themselves, I suggested they give us gift certificates for movies, restaurants, or services (like a hot-stone massage!). Since John and I almost never go out anymore, the gift cards would get us out of the house and force us out of our rut. Not a bad gift.


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