Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Anticipating Christmas

Thanksgiving is over. Christmas is on the horizon. It's time to send cards, make lists, review recipes and get ready for the Big Day. In my experience Thanksgiving includes the weekend and culminates on Sunday. When my kids were small we celebrated for four days. Sunday was nearly as big a day and Thursday. We cooked, visited, ate and celebrated to the end. We had a lot to be thankful for.

Giving thanks is a good foundation for Christmas. Maybe I should say a good introduction. Laying a groundwork of thanks is appropriate. 

We are thankful for the appearance of the Savior. The message of the angels promises rich connection to God and His Son. We are blessed to share in this celebration of his birth. We do need to be careful about the level of our celebration. Drunken foolishness is often viewed as celebration, but when we are dealing with issues and realities created in heavenly places, it behooves us to be more circumspect and critical of common practice. Are the things we see in our society really the behaviors we want to present before God as worthy of the gift and grace He bestowed on us?

I realize Christmas has taken on a life of it's own. It has new traditions and myths not associated with the Lord's birth. Many of them are centered in generosity, mercy, hope, and joy, which doesn't do violence to the Biblical ideal. There is a lot of emphasis on gifts and what and how to buy for friends and family. One big risk to the meaning of Christmas comes from the distraction of gift giving and receiving. How much you spend is not necessarily a good gauge of how important the person is to you or the nature of your relationship. Trying to spend the same amount for all your children is a path to hopeless frustration.

I think I'll probably revisit this subject before the big day. You can address it in your blog, too.  

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