Monday, December 22, 2014

Christmas Ramblings

Christmas, and what it truly means, has been lost in our PC, self-engrossed society.  Several years ago I noticed school districts changed the wording of  "Christmas Break" to "Winter Break," so as not to offend anyone.  That is, except the Christians among us.  Let me give you a news flash:  If not for "CHRISTmas," we would not have a winter break. 

In addition, local municipalities were sued for allowing manger scenes on firehouse grounds.  This was a tradition that reached way back into my childhood and beyond.  Now, they are mostly a thing of the past....all in the name of not "offending."

When I was younger, I suppose I was preoccupied with what was under the tree or what Santa would bring me.  I can even remember as a child opening one end of each package to see what the wording on the box said.  Society has just gotten worse in the last ten years or so.  Worse, as in horribly me-centric.  As an illustration, when my school's NJHS did a food drive at Thanksgiving for needy school families, my homeroom contributed one can of pork and beans.  That's it....and that was after being told to bring in something they would eat for Thanksgiving.  pork and beans?  really?  It is very disheartening when I see where the younger generations are headed.  And, I don't just mean the kids I teach; I mean their parents as well, for everything starts in the home. 

I read certain blogs every day because they are generally uplifting.  There is one who does not put up a Christmas tree because she says it is an "idol."  Well, we can make anything an idol; it doesn't take a Christmas tree to do it.

I chose several years ago to scale back my Christmas traditions to focus on the real meaning of Christmas, and I suppose I did it partially in response to the above-mentioned greed I see all around me.  I *do* put up a tree, but I have cut way back on gift-giving.  My son is grown now, so the toy trappings are a thing of the past.  There is nothing he really needs, either, so he will get a few small things.  I have also curtailed my baking.  I fondly remember past years of having more goodies than we could handle, but we don't need them. 

What I *will* do is this:  I will continue my third year of delivering Christmas dinner on Christmas Eve to my shut-in, and I will add another component this year.  I recently read that fire departments are often inundated with goodies at this time of year, but people often forget the police departments.  So.....I will be making a very simple recipe to deliver to my local police department on Christmas Eve.

I labeled this post "Christmas Ramblings" because I feel they are just that...ramblings of things on my mind.  I am reminded of childhood Christmases where things were much simpler.  I am saddened by the commercialization of Christmas as merely a money-making holiday for merchants.  I suppose that is one reason I have curtailed spending as well.  CHRISTmas is named such for its namesake, Christ.  It is, after all, HIS birthday that we originally celebrated.  The giving of gifts was a nod to the wise men who brought Him gifts in that manger so many centuries ago.  Christmas is a reminder of God's gift to us:  His son who chose to come to earth as a babe and later die for us so that we could have eternal life.  THAT is the reason for the season, and I choose to celebrate it by doing what I feel He would have me do---in my own small way.

Merry Christmas!