At least it often feels that way this time of year. I love Jesus and am absolutely blown away by the Biblical account of his birth. We just read about it last night in our church Bible study, and I was again awestruck.
But the time between Thanksgiving and New Years always seems far less satisfying than I think it should be. Is it even okay as a Christian to admit that I really am not a big fan of the Christmas season? Can I admit that I really do not like any of the following things?
- Thinking about shopping
- Thinking about what I should buy for people when I go shopping
- Actually shopping in the stores (which I try to avoid, thank you Amazon)
- Fighting traffic and crowds when I go shopping
- Thinking about how much money I may have wasted buying something that perhaps no one wants
- Thinking about what I would like for a gift for when people ask. And after this post they may quit asking! 🙂
- The Little Drummer Boy
- Unpacking and putting up Christmas decorations
- Living in the somewhat cluttered house full of Christmas decorations
- Taking down and repacking the Christmas decorations
- Driving here, there and everywhere. Always lots of driving this time of year.
- Christmas parties for work
- Giant inflatable lawn ornaments of wiener dogs in sweaters and penguins on sleds
I could probably go on and on, but you can plainly see that my heart is definitely 3 sizes to small. Sure, it was fun decorating cookies with the little kids, and most Christmas carols are great, and I love the joy and excitement of the children, but bah humbug! All this whining despite that fact that my too kind wife does exactly 99.9% of the Christmas shopping and decorating. Yet those things still drive me a little nuts.
I can try to make myself look better by saying that most of those things in that list are just the secularization of a Christ-less Christmas. But, every day I should be joyous because I know and believe what the angel declared to those frightened shepherds 2000 years ago:
And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord (Luke 2:10-11).
That is truly good news of great joy. Unfortunately, my limited joy during the Christmas season does not represent Christ to those around me and especially to my family. The secularization of Christmas should make me hurt for those who are missing out on salvation in Jesus Christ, but it should never be able to touch my joy. Likewise, shopping, driving, and dealing with Christmas decorations should never affect the joy I have in Christ and the love of God that I reflect to others. You can all say it, “Dale is selfish.” Yes, I am the Grinch.
Shame on me. But even if my heart were to grow 3 sizes today and I were to begin spreading Christmas cheer by singing loud for all to hear, I would still have a sin problem. Thankfully my Grinch-like sins were nailed to a wooden cross. For that was why my God and Savior had to be born as a little baby into this dirty, broken world. Emmanuel. God with us. Not just good news, but the greatest news.