Thursday, December 08, 2005
To Christmas, or not to Christmas
I don't go for the whole present thing. Having said that, this morning was the last morning for our preschool music program. I got given presents by a couple of the children (but I am pretty sure their parent's organised the presents). Now to me, those presents were about showing appreciation to us who work each week to put on an activity for these families. It felt pretty good to be given presents by these families. It made me feel good and appreciated.
But on Christmas morning as people around this country (and quite a few other countries around the world) rip open presents and are over joyed with the arrival of a new Playstation Portable, Barbie doll or Tonka Truck there will also be those who roll there eyes as they receive another set of jocks and socks, another spice rack or another tie.
How many of us will admit to buying a Christmas present for someone just because they bought one for us? How many of us will admit to going and buying a cheap token of a present for someone knowing that they will probably never use it? How many of us will admit to returning to the shop Christmas presents that have been given to us? How many of us will admit to rewrapping Christmas presents and giving them to someone else? (Not I!)
Yes I think Christmas is a time of rampant consumerism. There I said it. Happy now?
It is just another time of the year when we are made to feel that we have to buy more, consume more (don't get me started on Christmas dinners) and use more.
This year I have been pumping TEAR's (www.tear.org.au) "The World's most useful gift catalogue" where you can purchase presents for your friends. The catalogue includes such treasures as a goat, a toilet, primary school education and clean drinking water for a community. That is right, you buy these things as a present for your friends. But instead of your friend getting a goat, TEAR is nice enough to send it to someone who actually needs a goat to survive.
Then there is all the other trappings of Christmas, the decorations, the silly shirts (I am wearing one at the moment, because I was told I had to for the preschool kids) and all the rest of it.
The problem for me is that I get so anti-Christmas that I end up not enjoying the real significance of the event.
I find the glitz and glamour, the flashy lights and all the consumerism distracts me from the simple message of Christmas.
It is not just that we celebrate that God become a human being. We also celebrate how he became a human being.
Rather than coming to earth as a king, with flashy lights, newspaper interviews and silk sheets.
Jesus came to earth in a stable, the son of very common people.
Does our celebration of Christmas, even besides the consumerism I am so against, really reflect the baby lying in a manger, the feeding trough of smelly animals?
I am praying that this year I can just look at the little baby in the manger and not get distracted by the flashy lights of the Christmas tree.
just want to say, that i really enjoy reading ur blog
and to keep it up
i'll advertise it hehe on mine, if that may help get some more readers
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