Posted in Christian Living

Christmas Junkies


It starts earlier every year, and even as we grumble as the retail marketers begin their Christmas decorating before the Halloween leftovers have even been clearanced from their shelves, a secret part of us starts to feel the tingle that accompanies the sparkly sight of tinsel, bright bulbs, evergreen and twinkling lights. Despite our best efforts to fight it, we find ourselves buying new decorations, even though our attics or garages have boxes full of castaways we just can’t quite bring ourselves to get rid of.
We get caught up in the giving spirit, too, but not always in a good way. We spend money we may not have on things that the people we buy for don’t really need, including suddenly discovering that we need a few new things ourselves. We assuage the prick of conscience by telling ourselves it’s the season of giving, thus validating the new television for our living room. We did take two angels to provide for from the giving tree from the Mall, after all.
We also find ourselves listening to the radio stations that play the Christmas carols, feeling a great pick-me-up and especially warm feelings in our chest as memories of Christmas past are brought to mind, or at the reminders of the ultimate gift offered by the baby whose birth is supposed to be the reason for the season.
Maybe we Christmas junkies get so caught up because this is the one time of each year when the world seems to come the closest in line to living in the spirit of Christ. We are all more likely to look out for each other, be more polite, and put love first.
But the world, as usual, is never on the same page, especially when it comes to God. Dismayed as I flip through the television channels (and, yes, I shouldn’t really be watching television anyway), I have been noting this holiday those channels who have chosen to show horror movies or other shows totally anathema to Christmas. These are the channels I know for sure have an anti-God mentality. What excuse is there to show “Silence of the Lambs” during Christmas time? Every movie shown doesn’t have to be a holiday movie, but why show a movie that glorifies the evil one during the season that celebrates the One who can conquer all?
We Christmas junkies always vow to maintain the feelings of this season all year long, but how long does it last once the decorations have come down, and the world around us goes back to its usual, well, “worldliness?” This is when we have to become even more diligent in our walk with Christ. James reminds us clearly of the struggle ahead of us as he encourages our perseverance: “Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world” (James 1:27). In other words, to be pure and faultless in our practice of religion, we should set our New Year’s goal as being sure we take care of those who cannot take care of themselves and that we are diligent in not falling into the traps of thinking the way the world thinks. We must know the word of God to know what is His truth versus the “truth” of the world.
Make the most of this time when the world’s “truth” comes closest to being God’s truth, and don’t get sucked into the black hole that is the marketing goal of making us buy, buy, buy in the name of “giving.”
Oh, and, Merry Christmas, of course!

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Author:

I am a 40-something Texan with a feisty cat and a supportive husband of 20 years. With a Master's degree in English with an emphasis on creative writing, I have taught creative writing at Texas Tech, won awards for my writing and been blessed to be mentored by Horn Professor and poet Dr. Walt McDonald. I earn a living by helping my husband's family run a health food store, but my avocation is writing. I hope you enjoy reading about some of my triumphs and tragedies as I continue to work on figuring out what life is all about and on growing my ability to share my writing. May your own journey be a blessed one.

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