By the time you read this, much of your Christmas celebration will probably be over. The presents are stacked under the tree, awaiting storage in their newfound niche. Christmas dinner has been eaten and the leftovers are cramming the refrigerator.
You may have just returned from the theater where you got your Star Wars fix. Others of you have just awoken from a food-induced nap.
It’s all over…
In short, it’s over. Christmas is over. It’s over and some of you have this empty, disappointed feeling in the pit of your stomach.
It’s not that it wasn’t a good holiday. For most of you, it was quite possibly a Christmas to remember. Yet it was so fleeting. It left you wanting more.
If you didn’t take vacation days, you’ll be headed back to work after the weekend. That thought alone will put a damper on your celebratory mood. Oh, the humanity!
There are no more presents to open. The decorations have to come down all too soon. The kids and grandchildren will be off doing their own thing, and you’ll be left to your own devices (if you have any). TV just isn’t a good substitute.
You even miss the hubbub—the hustle-and-bustle of your holiday preparations. Buying groceries, wrapping gifts, and mailing cards didn’t seem all that joyful at the time. Now you even miss the stress of losing your gift list. How can it be?
It can be because we usually forget what Christmas is about. The reminders used to be everywhere, but they’ve been pushed to the side and marginalized.
Our society and culture have all but forgotten why we celebrate this day. In case you too have forgotten, please allow me to remind you. As some like to blithely say, “Jesus is the reason for the season.” (Christ-Mass…get it?)
“You just missed Christmas”
We used to celebrate the birth of the Savior on December 25 (as arbitrary as that date might be). Now we celebrate crass commercialism. We used to celebrate the incarnation of God Almighty—a baby born in a lonely place within a desolate region of the world. Now we glorify Santa. We used to celebrate the change, hope and promise the Christ-child brought into the world with his arrival. Now we celebrate “good tidings to all” for no particular reason (other than it seems like a good thing to do at least once a year).
If we are feeling that emptiness in the pit of our stomachs, it may well be we’ve left out the very reason all this began. Presents are important because they remind us of the gifts of the magi. Dinners are important because they remind us that Jesus ate with (and accepted) sinners. Family gatherings are important because they remind us of the covenant relationships we have through (and because of) the Messiah.
If you’ve forgotten all that, you just missed Christmas Mr. Scrooge. Before you go back to work, you might want to kneel and give thanks to the one who has given you everything.