Thursday, December 12, 2013

Where did Christmas Go? And Why didn't I see it leave?

The kids and I just watched How the Grinch Stole Christmas.  Its one of my favorite movies.  Jim Carrey does a great job being Grinchy.  He's mean, vile, stinky, and lacks the Christmas spirit completely.  I mean he eats glass and his dirty socks run away from him.  He steals presents, trees, and even the last can Who Hash.

  During this season we all can get  mean, vile and stinky.  Some of us can even lack Christmas spirit. I know that we each can have our own Grinch moments. Maybe we get a little annoyed waiting in the incredibly long line just to buy a shirt that we are sure they will return.  Maybe its trying to find a parking spot at the mall that does you in.  (I mean really, can anyone drive this time of year?)  Maybe its looking for the only thing your child asked for, only to find out the store is completely out.  Christmas can be hard.  Christmas can be crazy. Christmas can be grinchy.  But it's something else...There is something that lingers in some of our hearts.  Something that you can't put your finger on, or you just don't want to admit it.

There is another  little character in this story that has a big presence in our hearts.  A small Who, or What that needs to be talked about.
Cindy Lou Who...  Cindy Lou is the littlest Who. That's the Who that has all of the what's that makes all of us think...Where did Christmas go?

She doesn't get all of the stuff that we call Christmas.  The hustle bustle, maxing out credit cards, buying ridiculous gifts.  Feeling pressure to make ornaments, throw a party, bake cookies, make unquie wholesome family memories.

The pressure!  For some of us the pressure is just under the surface waiting to explode.  For others, we are still trying to figure out where to even start.  Thanks to Pinterest we are all completely inadequate.

Cindy Lou Who- Where are you Christmas

I find myself searching to find Christmas...
Where did it go?  What happened?  When did it disappear, and where was I when it left?  How could Christmas up and leave right under my nose?

Last year and the year before I remember it.  I participated.   I remember the presents and wrapping paper.  I remember decorating,  and mall searching.  I remember countless trips to Target searching for THAT toy.  I even remember a year when my husband was out on Christmas Eve looking for something, anything, that we could wrap and give as a gift.

I remember the panic of thinking we "forgot" someone on our list.  I remember stressing out about 'how many' gifts family  members had, and how we could make it even.  Searching through the piles of presents and making sure that everything was fair.

I remember the MORE.  I remember the WHAT.  I remember the HOW MUCH.  The EXCESSIVE.  

That's what Christmas is all about, Right?

The hustle, bustle, presents.   Crowded malls, long lines, sale items and maxed out credit cards.  Consumerism at it's finest.  

We want to live up to all of the imaginary expectations.  We want to participate.  After all, that's what we have always done, each year it gets bigger and bigger.  We try so hard to create a manger scene out of toilet paper rolls, or wrap a wreath in burlap, only to fail and add to the stress of the season.  

Y'all it's hard to see past the stuff and see the stable.  Its hard to FEEL the season and not just be a participant in it.  Christmas is not about a checklist of duties and gifts.  It is about THE gift.  The only gift that has ever mattered...EVER!

Take some time this season and just be like Cindy Lou Who.   Think of the WHY and the WHO.  Try to FEEL the season and FEEL the presence of Jesus.  He is there, He is always there.  Take time in the hustle and bustle to celebrate the true reason.  Celebrate the birth of our savior that was born for us and died for us.  Perfectly human and perfectly God.

Cindy Lou Who got it right in my opinion.  She sought after the "least of these".  She looked after the homeless, the hungry, the naked, sick,  and thirsty. (Matthew 25: 31-46).  She went after the one whose heart was two sizes to small.  The one that no one had hope for, I mean he didn't even receive Christmas cards.  

I pray that you can go after this season with a new attitude.  Not an attitude of more, but an attitude of less.  The least...

Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel (God with us)

Read about the true meaning of Christmas...
Matthew 1:18-2:1-12
Luke 1:26-38; 2:1-21

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