Okay… we know everywhere you turn, it’s a Christmas “overload.” Between the decorations, shopping, baking, wrapping, parties, concerts, church and, of course, the people and traffic, it CAN be a bit much. Honestly, we get exhausted just thinking about everything!
So, it begs the question: “WHY do we put ourselves through all of this?!?” What happened to that simple stable, with a newborn King lying in a humble manager? When, exactly, did Christmas become all about the “stuff” and this mad dash of “celebration”? If you think about it, that first Christmas was about as low-key as you can get!
C’mon… no elaborate lights, other than a simple star in the sky… no elegant new outfits, just simple traveling clothes… no huge gift outlays, only three small LATE offerings for the entire family… no decorations, aside from some straw in that stable… and, they didn’t even have a TREE. By today’s standards, this would be considered a pretty “shabby” Christmas!
At the true heart of that FIRST Christmas, we find some very basic underlying themes: faith, hope, belief and love. Yep, nary a hint of over-the-top lighting displays, ostentatious gift-giving, shopping till we drop, or more food than one family could possibly eat in a whole week. Hmmm…
Which brings us back around to your personal “reason for the season.” For you, is it all about the “right” tree or the “perfect” gifts or the “idealized” family portrait cards or that “Rockwell-esque” family feast? We each have our own, individual, reasons for jumping through an increasingly-complex set of hoops, trying to capture – or recapture – a specific holiday sentiment. But, maybe… just MAYBE, the Christmas spirit can be found by revisiting the original celebration.
The season should be about recapturing THOSE ideals! How does that luxurious holiday outfit strengthen our faith? Can that mountain of presents reinforce our ability to love? Could a golden browned-to-perfection goose instill us with a solid foundation enabling us to believe? Does standing in a never-ending line at a mall bring us hope?!
For those among the Blind Faith Foundation community, we capture the holiday spirit by seeking a deeper meaning in this Christmas season. We model the Magi, and offer the gifts of our bounty to those in need. We quietly further the spirit of goodwill, by performing random acts of kindness. We draw those near-and-dear to us close, and trumpet our love for them. We find hope and joy in the smiles of children, who receive unexpected gifts from our visiting Santa. We draw faith from faces of the elderly and sick, who light-up when we visit.
THIS is the real Christmas for us at Blind Faith! Many of these activities don’t involve an actual financial investment – but DO require an investment of time and interest. You have to make a conscious decision to step AWAY from the “holiday hustle” and to celebrate in the spirit of the FIRST Christmas.
In one family, while many of their holiday traditions still linger, years ago they began to cast a wider net in conjunction with their seasonal festivities: Serving at a community dinner for those less-fortunate or homeless, was added to their annual activities. “Adopting” families or children in-need to provide gifts or meals – or both – brought them a newly-found joy in gift-giving. Leaving “Secret Santa” gifts for neighbors or friends, reignites a sense of magic for both the recipients and givers. Visiting people in local nursing homes or retirement communities allowed them kindle loving feelings toward those around them. Participating in church Christmas pageants made the story and experience personal for them.
So, what will you do this Christmas to reconnect with the true, biblical, spirit of the holidays? Consider adding just ONE new Christmas tradition to your schedule this year. It can even be something as simple as paying for the order of the person behind you in the Starbucks drive-through. It can be donating to a non-profit organization, like Blind Faith, and directing your donation to helping a family who otherwise would not have a Christmas. How about scheduling time to serve in a local shelter? You could even just sit down with your family and revisit the original Christmas story in the Book of Luke, Chapter 2.
Ask yourself: “What will be YOUR ‘reason for the season’ this Christmas?” Is it the gatherings, the decorations, the gifts – or something more centered around the true spirit of the holiday? May we suggest, putting MORE meaning into your season and following the cue of that FIRST Christmas this year… because, together, we have the power to make it “Christmas” for EVERYONE!