29 November, 2008

The Reason for the Season

I do happen to love the holiday music that goes with the season, but cannot bring myself to listen gleefully until after Advent starts. All things in good time, why rush the season, why take from the joy that the season is about and turn it into a commercial event?
I am not the most religious person there is and I will be the first to tell anyone that I do not attend a regular church and I do not tithe in monetary terms. But I do believe in God and in my heart I am a Christian.
I was raised with sporadic Church goings, but my parents were both strong in their faith and taught us children why we celebrate at different times of the year, the different religious holidays. In this upbringing, we learned that the meaning of Easter was not a big pink bunny delivering eggs and the jolly guy on Christmas was not just out to make the stores money.
Tomorrow begins the season of Advent. I am sure that each of us has seen an advent calendar, the 24 items that children are given, one each night leading up to Christmas... is this really just so that we keep the kids enthralled with "sugar plum" thoughts through out this stressful time of year?
No. Advent starts on the 4th Sunday before Christmas, not always on the 1st of December and leads to the Epiphany (Twelfth night or January 6th). It is a time to prepare for the coming of Christ and to reflect that Christ will one day, again, walk on earth with his second coming. During this time, we prepare our hearts and our souls to receive him. I found a couple of good websites that give better information than I can churn out from my brain. The Spirit home and Make disciples.
I am not saying that we do not celebrate Christmas here at our house, we just do not make it as commercial as others I know. I try to remember that Christ is the reason for the season. My family gives one gift on on Christmas Eve, we read the story of the Christ child from the Bible, we also have the family fun of doing " What God wants for Christmas." We follow this with three gifts on Christmas morning and a stocking filled with goodies based on the 12 days principle. I don't like the sugar hype of filling a stocking with candy and I really don't like the idea of the dentist bill after that.
I guess you can say I am very opinionated. I do not look down on people who shop on Black Friday, heck I went out for my first and last one yesterday. Some good deals can be made that day. I know opinions differ even on that. But just please remember that there is a deeper meaning to the season than just fun music, dressing up and getting expensive gifts. The underlying theme is Love... John 3:16 "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life."

Happy Holiday Season all , now back to yarn.


Lori H said...

Well said. We've always done a pretty simple Christmas and keep gift purchasing to a minimum. Hope you and your family have a happy holiday season :)

Jenny Girl said...

I completely understand what you are saying. Christmas has unfortunately become commercial and monetary. And I don't think many people or kids are grateful for what they recieve from Santa.

For me Christmas is about family and friends sharing time together.

Hope you have a wonderful holiday season.

Vicky said...

Coggie, I enjoyed this post more than any that I have read in such a long time. I fully believe the same way that you do and it is so hard in todays world to fight the peer pressure of the world and its influences. It is so nice to see you so open and for you to be bold in your faith.