I was pondering these lyrics this morning~
Where are you Christmas?Why can't I find you?Why have you gone away?Where is the laughter you used to bring me? Why can't I hear music play? (Lyrics by James Horner)
It used to bother me that some stores left the word Christmas out of their advertisements, but it really doesn’t anymore. In fact, in light of the trampling death of the Wal-Mart employee in New York, I’m not so sure that we should be so insistent on associating shopping with Christmas and in the process associating shopping with Christ. More and more I want to separate shopping and Christmas. I want to celebrate Christ’s birth by giving, yes, in that Christ’s birth represents God’s gift to humanity. I’m not so sure that giving “things” to people who already have everything they need, is the best way to celebrate God’s gift through giving. No, I’m convinced that God’s gift would be better celebrated through taking care of real needs in the lives of those less fortunate, and in loving acts to the lonely, the sick, the imprisoned, and the soldiers at war. You can leave the words Merry Christmas out of every sales flyer as far as I’m concerned; in fact, I think I would prefer it. Instead, call it what it is—Shopping Frenzy. I want Christmas to mean something else entirely.
As Dr. Seuss so aptly put it, “And the Grinch, with his Grinch-feet ice cold in the snow, stood puzzling and puzzling, how could it be so? It came without ribbons. It came without tags. It came without packages, boxes or bags. And he puzzled and puzzled 'till his puzzler was sore. Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn't before. What if Christmas, he thought, doesn't come from a store? What if Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more?"