My Thoughts on this Christmas Season

Hey all. I’ve been fairly busy over the past few days so I haven’t been able to contribute much to our little blog. I hope everyone’s Christmas has been as joyous and meaningful as mine has. I am trying to get over a nasty flu-bug, but I thought I would take a moment to list some of the thoughts and observations that have been bouncing around in my mind over the last few days.

1. I am incredibly blessed.

I spend a great deal of my time worrying. I am very good at it. In fact, I can worry about several things at once. I have a mild OCD disorder that allows me to obsess on the most inane issues. I can worry about things that stopped being relevant decades ago. Even though my brain is actively trying to drag me further into my worries, this Christmas season has reinforced how truly blessed I am. I have a wife that loves me. Our house is filled with 5 smart and beautiful kids. I have a God who wants me to experience a relationship with Him. In every category that matters, I am blessed.

2. Christmas Eve at my church was awesome.

My church, River Valley Community Church, hosted a wonderful event on Christmas Eve. Stations were set up in the sanctuary to allow visitors to take a moment to communicate with God. Within seconds of entering, I was lighting a candle and praying for my loved ones … I couldn’t hold back my tears. I have taken Communion several times in my life but can not remember ever being so moved by the experience. I am very thankful that River Valley provided my family the opportunity to commune with God as part of our Christmas experience.

3. Christians are missing the point.

I’ve been watching some terrible videos. You’ve seen them. The guy got trampled when the doors of Wal-Mart were opened. Apparently, one woman lost her baby in the melee. People were going crazy trying to take advantage of “Black Friday” sales. One friend told me he witnessed three fights while shopping on Black Friday. Whenever I watch these videos or hear these stories, I can’t help but wonder how many of the people involved consider themselves Christians. Seriously, can there be anything more disrespectful to Christ than killing someone while trying to save fifty percent? Obviously, the birth of Christ is not dominate in most American’s minds when they think about Christmas. I have never been happier to say that the vast majority of my shopping was done online.

4. Non-Christians are missing the point.

This may be a case of the pot calling the kettle black. I celebrated Christmas long before I considered myself a disciple of Christ. Hypocritical as it may be, I can’t help but ask myself what non-Christians think they are celebrating during Christmas. I understand that many people feel they are celebrating the secular side of the holiday … but in all honesty, doesn’t that seem a little silly? I am astounded by the number of people that bash Christianity all year long and then celebrate Christmas. Maybe we should celebrate the birth of Christ at a different time of year to separate it from the “secular” holiday.

5. Christmas is for the children.

I was so very proud of my children as we walked into church on Christmas Eve. Not one of the five complained about going. Not one of the five were in a hurry to leave. Every one of them participated in the stations set up by the church. My children took communion and prayed. I was very proud. I was also grateful that Stefanie and I were able to provide our kids with Christmas presents. The joy on their faces really was contagious.

 

Thank you Lord for all of the blessings you have provided for my family this year. Thank you for giving us Your Son. I pray that you will never let me forget how I felt as I took communion on Christmas Eve 2008. I pray that you will insert yourself in the minds and the hearts of all those that miss the point … Christians and non Christians alike. I pray that you will draw me closer to you in 2009. In Christ’s name, amen.
 

 

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One thought on “My Thoughts on this Christmas Season

  1. 1) Yep. You are blessed.

    2) It didn’t produce any tears, but I spent part of Christmas Eve at Mass with my girls. The priest brought all the children up front and directed the whole service toward them, which was rather cool. I don’t know if you’ve ever been to a Catholic service; it’s a lot of standing and kneeling and participation and as a non-Catholic I don’t know all the rules or recitations or anything, but I didn’t bungle too badly and I actually enjoyed going. The church — same one we got married in, except it’s a brand new building and the building we got married in is gone now — is really beautiful inside.

    3) I’m with you on the whole shopping frenzy. I had to spend a certain amount of time in stores this year, but I aim to avoid it as much as possible. I think I’ll take a hint from my wife and do my Christmas shopping throughout the year. Online works well, too.

    4) I realize non-Christians aren’t celebrating the birth of Christ, but there are other things to celebrate, too, like family and togetherness and wishes for peace and all that. Christmas seems as good a time as any to note those things, especially with it being a federal holiday and people being off work, kids out of school, etc. I think I’d leave Christmas as is, but I kind of like your idea of adding a new holiday that is specifically religious. I think there’s some historical argument that Christ’s actual birth was likely in summer (smack me if I’m wrong, I don’t know for sure.) If that date could be pinned down, a new religious observance could be cool — and the blogosphere could be a cool way to actually get it started. I think you are the first person I’ve seen bring up this idea.

    5) I was rather proud of my little girl, too. At Mass, Father Cassidy picked her to lead the poinsettia procession — she was quite beautiful in her Christmas dress and marched through the church with a big smile. She also was well behaved and attentive during the service. She did pick on me for humming instead of singing, and got a little bossy once in making sure I knew when to kneel. You know 8-year-olds, though, they like to boss their dads around!

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