Last year this time (within a week) my dad was robbed at gun point and my brother was in a car accident. I thank God every day that they are both here to tell their stories. Neither my dad nor my brother was physically injured but it was scary as all get out. It makes me even more grateful to have my family during the holidays. My mom lost her own dad a mere 4 days before Christmas in 2005 and needless to say she didn't feel much like celebrating. This makes me know that God never gives you more than you can handle...
Every year I plan my Christmas gifts with intent. Gift giving is a big deal for me. I am so grateful to have some of the best people in the world in my life and I feel like giving a good gift is the least I can do plus it shows my deepest gratitude and appreciation. Well, things don't always work out that way. The other day hubby was having a conversation with our son about what he likes about the holidays: 'getting together with family, Christmas songs, good food, etc.' But he made it a point to tell him that he isn't so thrilled about gift giving. He said people get too caught up in buying/giving/getting gifts. Surprisingly I agree. I feel so stressed out when I can't find the perfect gift... heck I even started a blog series about gifts - I can't believe how jaded I've been.
I'm sure you've must have gathered by now that I'm a Christian. I go to church every Sunday (only missing if I'm sick or not in town...or just had a baby), I'm involved in church functions, a member of the Usher board, I'm an ordained Elder currently serving until Jan 2012, I was in the choir in high school, and I used to be the youth group leader. So yeah Church is a huge part of my life. Even when I held jobs in retail and the medical field I made it to church (and that's a big feat considering both industries are open on Sunday's). So how have I allowed myself to get side tracked by the real reason for the season??
Quite honestly I have always been slightly annoyed with the fact that only Christian holidays have become commercialized and totally taken out of context. When was the last time your favorite store had a Hanukkah sale? How about a 24-hour Ramadan blow-out? Yea- quite frankly this is rude. And you know what else gets to me "X-mas". Really replacing 'Christ' with an 'X' *rolls eyes*. And the doggone Santa Claus debate. Right now in the parenting inter-webs there is a huge debate on whether or not their children's Christmas gifts will be from Santa or Mom and Dad "because we worked so hard to buy these gifts". People are going as far as choosing what should be from Santa because they don't want mom and dad to seem cheap and 'Why should Santa get all the credit'. Don't get me wrong I'm not judging you if this is a serious issue in your household but it makes me wonder if people even know why we exchange gifts on Christmas day. Let me guess... Saint Nicholas... *sigh*
In actuality I plan on teaching my little guy about it all. The birth of Christ, Saint Nicholas, and the commercialized version of Christmas. In fact in Higher Ed (on some campuses) there is a saying
That makes me giggle a little every time I say it. Diversity is important to us so my little guy will have a diverse knowledge of "The Holidays". And speaking of giggling... why is Best Buy picking on Santa so much?!
Whew! Glad I have a few of 'things' off my chest.