Thursday, December 9, 2010

What to do about Christmas?

Lately in the Gandee house we have been pondering all the commercialism and materialism surrounding this thing we call Christmas. It's not as if we have never pondered it just seems like a different kind of pondering this time.

We may have pondered it in years past because the bank account was a bit low in many a late November or perhaps it was the "Company Christmas Party" that we dreaded. It might even have something to do with all those Christmas cards that I've felt somehow obligated to send to people that I hardly know anymore because the only time we speak is in a signature on a card!

This is my official notice...I'm quitting Christmas cards. There, I said it.

Why this pressure?! Why do I fear the questions and comments from family and friends? Over Christmas cards?! Hard to believe, but I will be asked to explain myself in a few short weeks.

Here's the thing. 24,000 children died today from starvation or preventable disease. People are starving, homeless, lonely, scared, sick, poor and lost and for some reason that's putting a damper on my Christmas shopping plans. I feel like I'm going crazy sometimes. Up to this point, the only thing I have bought is a gorgeous teddy bear that I found in the thrift store for a buck or two. My sweet Lorelei will take this bear in her arms and pour out her love on it and she wouldn't want anything more. She wouldn't need anything more. She has a family that loves and adores her and a no amount of toys could ever match that.

What about my boys? I am amazed at the level of maturity that they have displayed leading up to this Christmas. The talk around the house has been different. Oh sure, they still put that word in my ear about that XBox game or special something they've had their eye on, but they are beginning to see the truth. They are opening up their eyes to the world around them and the ME Monster is getting smaller by the second. He's a tough one.

So, what then do we do? I guess it would be a good idea to try to tear down all the idols and get back to the basics and that is to worship our Savior. Is it possible? I mean really? Can we savor the meaning and joy of Christmas and not get sucked in to the craziness of "Xmas"? I have to be honest. Christmas for me as a kid was the best day of the year. A big family reunion of sorts, continual feasting, and a ridiculous amount of gifts. It was just normal. That's what we did. It was Christmas. But Jesus had no place at our table.

Well, today, that just won't do. We can't do much, but we can do something to make a difference in someone's life, whether it's locally or globally. There are needs in right in our back yard and desperate situations all around the world Are we called to give people what they want or what they need?

Proverbs 19:17 
Whoever is generous to the poor lends to the Lord, and he will repay him for his deed.

Proverbs 22:9
Whoever has a bountiful eye will be blessed, for he shares his bread with the poor.

Galatians 6:2
Bear one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.

Hebrews 13:16
Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God.

James 2:14-17 
What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled,” without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that? So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.

The needs are all around. We've just had our eyes closed for so long.

Gospel for Asia Christmas Catalog

The Hole in our Gospel

Merry Christmas

1 comment:

  1. Awesome post, Mary! I'm debating Christmas cards myself. I've ALWAYS done them, but last year we couldn't afford the stamps because of Greg's job situation. Boy, you really find out who's sending you a card just because you send them a card! Trying to decide what to do this year. We've had a change of address and will have another one before the end of January. I have some friends who don't do computers who need to know that. Maybe I'll send a New Year's letter to those! :)


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