The Christmas season can be frustrating for some people. It’s easy to lose focus of simply enjoying the season and reflecting on blessings. Seasonal trivialities and frustrations ensnare them. I count myself squarely in that group.
Frenzied shoppers crowd the malls…if they can even get there. They meander aimlessly through the parking lot trying to find a space. What seems hours later, they find one. That’s the good news. What’s the bad news? It’s so far from the mall the trek would wind the fittest triathlete.
These frustrated shoppers visit “brick-and-mortar” and on-line stores seeking the perfect gift for their “hard-to-buy-for” and slightly eccentric Uncle Wilbur. Everything is out of stock. They end up grabbing anything – usually a Chia pet or a holiday sweater with the Christmas tree-and-snowflake pattern, whichever comes first.
They bemoan about having to attend office holiday parties. They can’t stand the thought of eating more Ritz crackers smeared with a wine-flavored spread from an almond-encrusted cheese ball or another Christmas cookie.
Don’t get them started with the “lameness” of the office gift exchange. After all, they swear they brought the only legitimate gift. They complain about how their co-workers must have dived deep into their re-gifting pile for their contribution.
Compared to them, it’s easy to think the uptight Grinch is as carefree as the effervescent Tigger.
To this, I have two words:
Stop it. (thank you Bob Newhart for this gem!)
And I’d like to add three others:
Enjoy the season.
I speak from experience. I’ve always hated fighting the crowds at the malls during the holiday season. I can’t remember the number of “white elephant” gift exchanges I attended where I was stuck with a gift the anonymous giver must have purchased at the local drugstore while late for work. (Though, there was the one time I got a really cool gift at an Air Force special operations group holiday party!)
I’m ashamed of my shallowness and self-centeredness. The Christmas season is for enjoying…so enjoy it. There are billions of people in the world not as fortunate as any American. There are millions of Americans — maybe even some close friends — who are unemployed and facing a not-so-merry Christmas.
They have no holiday party to attend.
They have no gift exchanges to participate in.
They have no gifts to give.
The only gift they will be receiving is God’s love for them. Sadly, for some it’s a love they either aren’t aware of or don’t acknowledge because of their unbelief.
This isn’t meant to be a guilt trip. It’s a reminder to enjoy all your blessings this Christmas season.