Saturday, December 24, 2016

The Meaning of Christmas

I have never liked the hustle and bustle of Christmas.  Most of the time, I feel like an outsider looking in.  The commercialism turns me off.  Don't get me wrong; I like to get presents like anybody else.  But, the smallest things make me happy:  the dark chocolate Hershey bar thrust at me from an unknown, random 1st grader this week, the bag of assorted Lindor truffles (sorry, little 4th grader, but the rest are going to Priscilla's house today (I ate 3 that I shouldn't have.), the French lavender body set from another child, and the Bath and Body Works lotion and assorted cat notes from my "daughter from another mother."  It takes little to make me happy.  It made me happier to see Ashley's giddiness over her B&B pumpkin body wash I gave her.  She was excited over the container and said she had never seen that in the store; of course not, as I ordered it online.   She *is* like the daughter I never had; that was my same giddiness over the pumpkin spice creamers by bff gave me.

Let me speak of the Hershey candy---as soon as the little *unknown* girl thrust it at me and said, "Happy Christmas," I immediately thought of the widow's mite in the Bible.   That widow gave all she had; this little girl only knows me from my duty station in the hallway in the morning and the one time I subbed for an hour in her class; yet, she wanted to give me this candy.  It's dark chocolate, so could it be she didn't like it?  Maybe; maybe she can't read it yet to know what it is.  The point is, she saw me and wanted to give it to me.  Her gesture meant so much.

In the rabid push of commercialism, I focus on the true meaning of Christmas.  It is my duty (and joy) to bring happiness to others where I can.  Jesus did for others all the time; that was His ministry.  I am an epic failure at emulating Him, but still I try.  I listen for God's voice, and this week He has left me in tears with what I have felt coming from Him and the responses those couple of gestures have brought from the people He told me to minister to (and if you are reading this, you know who you are.)  

Today, I will take Priscilla her Christmas meal and settle in for more Christmas movies on Netflix with my fur babies.  Tomorrow morning I will take meal ingredients to my parents' house and cook there.  I have never done that before, but I will banish Mother from the kitchen.  Dad will likely want to help, and that will be fun.  We always talk when I cook on Sundays, and he hangs out at the doorway, doing little things to help.  Hopefully, my son will call from frigid Colorado, and my brother and sister-in-law will come for the noonday meal.  There's nothing fancy about it, but that is fine because it helps keep the focus on what is truly important:  Jesus' birth to save the world from itself.  Lord knows, we need that now more than ever.  We need a little Jesus.

                    Merry Christmas!