Tuesday, December 17, 2013

December's Christmas: A Contrarian View

"Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain."   ... 1 Corinthians 15:58

Every December it happens. I feel like such a large square peg jammed into a tiny round slot.

Like, whenever my kitchen radio plays "It's The Most Wonderful Time of The Year," I mutter, "Uh, no. It's not."

I mean, hey. When it's an old fashioned Buffalo December (like this one), we're already buried in snow and I'm shoveling it at 6 a.m. in 10 degrees, asking God to deliver me from worrying about Tom slipping out there while driving or walking. And it's not safe for me to take daily walks, so extra weight shouts to its buddies, "Quick! Wrap yourself around Debra."  (Yes, Tom and I need a treadmill. We're currently in negotiations for one, trying to imagine ways to squeeze one in here.)

And then friends are, well, generally too busy to talk, email or encourage one another in December because of being busier than ever and all stressed-out about gift-giving, money woes, parties and expectations. Their heads are into decorating, baking, wrapping gifts and holiday shows while my own brain twiddles its thumbs, waiting for the Nation's insanity to return to calm.

Truthfully? I wish Christmas in December meant only meditating about Jesus' birth. You know, not substituting 'the spirit of Christmas' or 'it's all about family,' instead and I wish that spreading real cheer downtown, sacrificially giving to others and gathering with loved ones was The Big Theme for the other 11 months. And wishing no one morphed into someone not them, but rather, stayed their same, sweet selves. Or became eternally sweeter. Or something.

(Stop me before I alienate myself from the whole world. Oh wait. I already did that years ago.)

My own most wonderful time of the year? Early Spring. Now that's a time I can get excited-out-of-my-brain about. Only the tiniest patch of snow here and there and crocuses poking their heads above the ground. Green lawns, not muddy white ones and forget-me-nots in the best shade of blue, ever. Taking walks again(!) and sitting on the sunny front porch with a magazine and wearing only one layer of clothing, not three...

... and the promise of eight more gorgeous, sun and fun months ahead.

Yep, give me early Springtime and celebrating Jesus and a (sane) giving lifestyle all 12 months instead of cramming it into just one. Now there would be a wonderful time of year worth singing about--the whole year. Indeed.


Okay.... No more 'I wish Christmas was all year long posts.' Well, no more this year, anyway. :)

Oh, and honestly, I feel great! (In case you wondered.) This is just a subject that's hard to write about and difficult to make others understand since it's the polar opposite of what is taught and practiced. Generally.


Here it is again: a calm, sane place to escape this crazy week before Christmas.


Anonymous said...

I think it is hard to know how to change our feeling this way in December, Debra. Especially for those of us with hardly any family to be with, and with the focus of our culture being mostly materialistic. I was 13 the last time I was able to spend one of those wonderful times at a BIG family gathering. My great grandparents always had one sometime prior to Christmas whenever everyone could find time to do it. There was usually 30 or more (sometimes other more distant kin came too). What I remember mostly was all the hugs and kisses and how are you? So good to see you!! There was a small gift exchange, but that was not the biggest event. My grandpa and his brothers were some of the most hilarious people ever and oh the stories and laughter...and the food...oh all the women were such good cooks and of course, brought their very best!! We generally all went next door to the old Methodist Church, and then for dinner and the afternoon and early evening together. My sense of belonging was never stronger anywhere else ever. Yes, there were some fun smaller gatherings over the years, but none like those always were. I so look forward to the KINGDOM and more such events!! The love is what I miss...on that scale. This family did not always think alike, but family was the most important thing!! And then when you loose some of your kin you loved the most, during November and December...well, that is something one cannot entirely forget either. So one makes the best they can for the others in their life and looks forward to another month to come. And I always get sick in December, as I am somewhat today...congested etc. I have pared down what I do to almost nothing, so it is not frantic activity that causes it. Maybe allergy related? But that too, I wish I could change. Maybe one day I will figure out how to avoid illness for this month. GOD uses many things to help us refocus on HIM I think...and maybe the loss of other things is a part of that. Either way, HE is always there...to talk to, sing to, or write to!! Hope you feel better soon!!
Elizabeth in NC

Debra said...

Oh Elizabeth! I feel fine. Hmmm... I guess I'd better reread what I wrote and make changes or something.

Mostly I was trying to say that I wish Christmas could just be about Jesus. Period. He tends to get lost in all the talk and activity of gifts, parties and the way family gatherings are supposed to be almost cosmic or something (and so many people get disappointed when they're not) and it gets worse each year, not better.

To me, Jesus is the best thing about my every day and I feel I'm missing out on nothing. Christmas gets better for me each year when I let go of more and more of the distractions. And maybe that's what I was trying to say--I've grown tired of watching people become distracted from the reality of celebrating Jesus' birth and life and His presence today.

Or something like that...

Thanks for taking the time to comment!... Debra

Anonymous said...

Seems like in general all every one talks about all year is computers and technical gadgets then during the Christmas season they talk about buying and running around and how tired they are. [[and what new gadgets they want or am buying ]] Where is Jesus?? He is still here as always waiting for us to recognize he is in our midst. We would not even have a thing without Him and yet he is abandoned. :( Sarah

Anonymous said...

Well, I did understand what you were meaning I think...but maybe what I did not say is that I think it is ok for us humans to miss the best parts of holidays while dispensing with the parts that really are superficial...and even in missing those parts, we can still be ok. Or fine even. One thing one can hopefully learn with age and experience, is how to be content, whatever the circumstance. It takes so little to make a day a good one to me now at this age!! I am grateful for that.
Elizabeth in NC