Today at lunch, I strolled through the mall. Not too many shoppers, I noted, since it’s just a few weeks from Christmas! Maybe, in this down economy, they’re all at home baking cookies and knitting sweaters for their loved ones….
Then I saw it: Splayed prominently across a shop window in artificial spray snow were the words ‘SEASONS GREEDY!’
“Nah,” I thought. “Surely they can’t be that ready to admit that it really is about making money!”
Silly me! For the manager at that shop, and for all too many people, that is exactly what the holiday season is about. This is the month when Americans will spend money they don’t have, to buy things they don’t need, for people they don’t even like. And all that spending and shopping will distract from the real Reason for the Season. Even the good stuff—the cleaning and baking and hospitality and out-of-town guests—will make it just a little difficult for the average mom to retain her focus on the coming of the Christ Child during this blessed Advent season.
One of my favorite Christmases from years past was the year our family rallied to help a family in need. On Christmas Eve, my husband came home from work disturbed because a man in the office–a good husband and father–had encountered some serious personal and health problems, and did not have gifts for his wife and small children. Had we known the situation earlier, we might have shopped, or given him a gift certificate– but all we could do was give of what we had under our tree. That evening, we opened our Christmas gifts a little early. The kids embraced the idea– and I remember them opening their gifts and saying, “Wow! I would really have liked playing with this!” Then, we’d rewrap the present, to be “regifted” on the spot. Jerry carried a full load of gifts for that family– something for everyone– and dropped them off at their door.
Looking around our cluttered house, I find that there’s not much I need this year. Oh, there are a few things we could use– but I’m beginning to think “regifting” may be the best thing we could do for one another.
Lord, help us to remember that You are the greatest Gift this season, and give us the grace to celebrate with generosity and love for all of Your people.