For Chip: He is your friend, your partner, your defender, your dog. You are his life, his love, his leader. He will be yours, faithful and true, to the last beat of his heart. You owe it to him to be worthy of such devotion. —Unknown

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Is This Christmas?

While shopping for gifts at a well known department store I saw some unattractive and unusual Christmas decorations. There were the typical birch branch reindeer, crystal pigs wearing Santa hats, purple hippos, and other animals that are rarely used in a nativity scene. Inflatable decor with an absence of air appeared lifeless in the store display. They were the worst decorations I had ever encountered. As I walked away I wondered is this Christmas?

The church I attend has a beautiful Christmas presentation that borders on a Broadway musical. I decided to watch a YouTube snippet of a recent production. While anticipating angels and Mary there were children singing a song about Rudolph.   Suddenly Santa appeared out of the balcony in a sled and everyone  was yelling for Santa. I was not sure if I was bordering on the Grinch, but I was perplexed as I watched Santa and his sleigh come down a wire to the dancing children. Stunned I wondered is this Christmas?

I went to a dozen stores and found the busiest location was the Dollar Store.  Customers were buying the tackiest Santa hats imaginable, and I even bought a pink satin purse card holder trimmed with fur.  As I fumbled through some tin trays a customer asked me if I was worried about picking a Santa tray that might be politically incorrect. Being politically correct was the last thing on my mind as I dodged customers and little children.  As the woman walked away  I knew she was a retired teacher, had bought tins for her twin granddaughters, her  Holiday itinerary, and the  baked items she was preparing for her family party. She did mention that she passed on the cheap card holders as I tucked mine out of sight. When I threw my loot into the car I asked myself is this Christmas?

We went to a prestigious neighborhood to view a house with a multitude of lights synchronized to a variety of songs heard through a radio station. It was fascinating and I loved the music, but is this Christmas?

I watched a concert by a well known orchestra that borders on rock.  They performed an abundance of  religious Christmas songs but I was distracted by the flying hair with guitars.  It still did not move me as I admired the skilled musicians.  Shouldn't this bring a tear to my eyes if this is Christmas?

Then there was the Christmas service which was beautiful.  However the girl in front of me  kept staring at herself in her camera phone while   applying makeup and admiring herself.   I was so fascinated with her grooming technique that I had little time  to enjoy the service.  A girl to the right of me had beautiful black stockings but a gloomy look on her  face apparently wishing she was somewhere else.  I watched others as they entered and exited in various moods.  The music was lovely but it was still difficult to feel the Christmas spirit. I felt cold and uninspired.

It was just a few days before Christmas and I didn't want to decorate.   Is it possible that shopping, cooking,  gifts, decorations, and preparing for the event mask the joyful feelings of the Christmas season?  Suddenly I remembered the simple Charlie Brown Christmas story that I used to watch every year.  I played the animated story and  thought about what was missing besides my youngest son James who stayed in LA.  Like Charlie Brown I had not allowed the Christmas spirit to touch me. It was there all the time.   I just needed to be reminded and let it be a part of me. I sighed and then smiled as I realized this is Christmas?
Unto Us A Child is Born
For unto us a Child is born, Unto us a Son is given; And the govenment will be upon His shoulder.  And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Isaiah 9:6 NKJV

Merry Christmas.  Happy New Year!