I always find it interesting how the holidays – the times that are meant to bring joy and excitement – often bring the most anxiety. Do we have the right gift? Have we remembered everyone? When will we put up the decorations? How many Christmas parties do I have this week? How much more do I have to cook? How much can I eat and still fit into my clothes?
All of these questions and more bring us to a place of anxiety and prevent us from really enjoying this time. Christmas should be a time of joy. It should be a time of celebration and a time with the family. It should even be a time of giving. But we seem to be missing something in it all. How did it become so stressful? When did we get so caught up in all of the commercialism that we forget how to really even enjoy Christmas?
Maybe it begins with a shift. Maybe we begin to shift how WE celebrate Christmas. Maybe we don’t wait for someone else to change, but we begin to change. How about this Christmas, instead of buying for those who already have, and cooking for those who are full…we instead give to those who do not have and cook for those who are hungry? Maybe the key is that we stop trying to make those who have plenty happy and start trying to help those who do not have at all. It could be that our giving is misplaced and we should consider how to give differently.
Now I understand this isn’t a new thought or concept. Yet, I don’t really see anything change. When I study the life of Jesus, he reached out to those who were the outcasts of society. He loved those who were considered unlovable. He touched those who were forgotten. He fed those who were hungry. He didn’t give to those who already had. And yet when we celebrate his birthday, we give to those who already have? Something seems out of sorts. And that may be why holidays bring so much anxiety.
This Christmas, may we begin to live as Christ – celebrate his birth doing what he did…Loving, feeding, giving…all to those who had none.