It’s interesting to browse back over last year’s posts around Christmas time. We forget, after all, and its good to have those reminders, those marker events, if you will. It’s intriguing to me that many of the same topics going on in my head a year ago are going on in my head again over the last couple of weeks. Perhaps it should be disturbing…indicative in some way that I’ve stagnated, haven’t moved forward. Maybe that’s true. Or, maybe it’s sinking into me on a much deeper level. I’m hoping for the latter.
Christmas is going to be very different for us this year, as we won’t be traveling for the first time since we’ve been married. Not being around family (we will be, but not of the same quantity) is a great deal of the holiday to me. This year, we’ve even had snow in Virginia, which is quite unusual at this early date. Still, though, I’m barely in any sense of “Christmas spirit.” I’m managing a bit now because I’m listening to the soundtrack for A Charlie Brown Christmas. I’m still in a room without decorations, however. No tree, no lights, not yet. I’m very slow to move into the spirit of the season, whatever that spirit is.
I was last year, as well.
I think there’s good reason, though, because the season has become so…perverse. I’ve read posts from other Christian bloggers lately saying things to the same effect, specifically one today referencing the same Black Friday nightmare of which I wrote in my last post. That just began the season so horribly for me. And I’m so guilty of the very materialistic perversion that distresses me. Karen and I and my parents went shopping on the afternoon of Black Friday. I was a bit excited over some early gifts they bought us. Hopefully I was more excited over the quality family time…the dinner together, the helping them (a bit too late) decide what to order at Starbucks. Later, I was hooked by a nifty little cause called Advent Conspiracy. I think they have it right. So, I’m trying to (to use their phraseology) spend less, give more (not material gifts), and worship fully in doing so. I’m trying. I’m trying to get my little brain around this Incarnation, this performance that God did for us to show us truth. Cosmic might wrapped up in an infant. I know, I know, people brought Him gifts, but this gift thing…that’s not what this is about.
I think my dissatisfaction with capitalist materialism is a divine discontent. Hopefully, I will be more in the elusive Christmas spirit when next I post. Or, perhaps it will be a better thing if I’m not. Then I’ll be focused on what’s important. This is a season of love, redemption, and second chances. Perhaps in buying less and living more simply this year, I can redeem this a bit.