Christmas at Christmastime

“It’s Christmastime!!  By far my favorite time of the year.  I love it all – the lights, the smells, the presents, the shopping, the cooking, the eating, the laughing and the celebration of God’s great love for us.

I credit my parents with my love for Christmas.  Whether intentionally or not, they made Christmas a magical time for us every year.

I remember Dad putting together the Christmas Village on the window seat in our home, complete with streets made of tape and fake snow in the window.

I remember opening the pictures on the advent calendar and reading the verses that led us up to Christmas day.

I remember big, fat colored Christmas lights, hunting for Christmas trees with my family, drinking mom’s real eggnog, and sitting under the lit-up tree while Dad told us the gospel story using the tree as his text.

As I’ve grown older, I have striven not to lose that magical feeling.  I’ve watched as others my age and older grow focused on the things that hide the beauty of this season.  So much complaining and frustration, so much commercialization and stress, so much focus on money and things and so little time spent on soaking in the joys and blessing of the season.

But for me… bright colored lights against a night sky are still magical!  Decorated trees are beautiful, Christmas cookies are tasty, ringing bells are festive and the Nativity Story is timeless.  Even if I can’t always handle the Christmas sales and shopping and the hustle and bustle of the season, I can always stop and appreciate what is there and see the mystery and awe of the celebration.

And I see it in the most unusual places; places that you may associate with the “worst” of the Christmas season, places like… Walmart.

I think Walmart probably epitomizes to most of us who are frustrated with the commercialization of Christmas.  Walmart is all about money – bottom line; “Christmas is nice and all but how do we get the most money out of this season?”  They are a business and they run like one.  And, regardless of whether it’s Christmas or not, we tend to not like the big-box business that Walmart represents.”

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Sourced from reFocus Ministry.  Written by Christina Embree