A Suburban City Girl in A Small Town

Moment by moment……

The Reason for the Season

on November 26, 2012

Black Friday. Just another day full of commercialism where we forget the real spirit of Christmas and head out to find that all too perfect gift.

I have a few thoughts on this.  

Christmas has always been a huge holiday in my family. As a little girl, the Thanksgiving feast started off a season of lights, family, presents and best of all, no school! It was a time when my dad would take me out for that pretty new Christmas dress with white tights and black patent leather shoes and a new winter coat. On Christmas Eve, we’d all gather together at my aunt’s house to celebrate. I remember how amazing the Christmas tree looked with all the presents. Tons of them all over! And to think some were for me!!! Then, that magical moment came as we sat in front of my aunt while she passed out the presents, one by one. Later that evening, my mother helped me put my stash in the trunk of our car. I watched for Santa and his sleigh all the way home. 

Looking back, I can only remember a handful of gifts I’ve received over those precious young years. My Barbie Dream House, my skateboard, my dollhouse…..those are among the few.

Here I am, 44 years old, and trying to find the perfect gift for my children. I remember the one Christmas when I felt I’d let my girls down in what I bought for them. Nothing seemed to make their eyes pop! I remember a feeling of failure. Interestingly enough, my girls don’t remember that Christmas. They don’t remember every gift I trudged out to get. Oh, they were grateful. They’ve always been grateful. Over the years, I’ve gotten better and better at shopping for them but they never really ask for anything huge, like most teenagers, so it’s easy. This year, I asked them both what they want – really want – for Christmas. They both gave me the same answer – to be with family. 

Now before you start the canonization process, my girls each have their own wish lists of material things they want. But in this world of “Gimme! Gimme! Gimme!“, somehow, they’ve learned the value of family. They understand money can only buy so much but it cannot buy people who love you and who will always be there for you. 

Money also cannot buy you a Savior.

Last Sunday, after Mass, we went to the narthex. Both my girls were anxious to get a name from the Giving Tree. We chose two names representing two people who had nothing. We plan to do something about that. You see, while others are out getting yet another flat screen TV, someone doesn’t have shoes. While people are trampling over each other to get the newest smartphone for their teenager, there’s a teenager who doesn’t have a winter coat. The parents who are getting the latest Leap Frog technology so their baby will read at the age of 2, there are parents who are trying to figure out how to feed their baby.

And my family and I sat at our second Thanksgiving feast with more than enough leftover.

God knows how to take care of His own. And we are grateful for His blessing.

So this Christmas, I challenge you. I challenge you to, instead of maxing out your credit cards on presents, maximize your time with your kids. I challenge you to, instead of rushing out to find that perfect gift, rush out instead to visit the older generation and take heed of their wisdom. I challenge you to, instead of opening your wallet to Macy’s, open your wallet to the Salvation Army bell ringer who is standing out in the cold praying for someone’s heart to be big enough to help those in need. 

But most of all, I challenge you to remember the gifts given so long ago: shelter for a young woman bearing the Son of God, a manger so the child may sleep; a star to guide those who needed to find Him; wise men to bring gifts for His future; and an angel to herald the birth of a child who was born to die. Thirty-three years later, He would lie down on a cross to give us the gift of freedom and a way to the Father.

It is truly a gift that keeps on giving.

 

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3 responses to “The Reason for the Season

  1. […] The Reason for the Season (againstthemain.com) […]

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