For many years now, the commercialism that accompanies Christmas has saddened and troubled me. Each year it begins earlier and each year I vow that I’m not falling prey to the over-the-top marketing that has become Christmas.
And each year…I fail. I get caught up in the hype, the glitz and the need to do Christmas perfectly. Do I have the right gifts for everyone? Will it be enough? Is my food going to be perfect? Are the decorations impressive enough? I actually ask myself these questions and naturally, the answer is always the same because it’s impossible to do Christmas perfectly.
It already is perfect in its simple, humble beginnings.
This year…I’m doing it all differently, because I’m different…transformed and aware. This year…I’m keeping the spirit of Christmas alive in my heart.
A couple of weeks ago I was honored to sit down with Pete Wilson, Founder of Cross Point Community Church here in Nashville and my pastor. Who better to talk to about Christmas?
I asked him how, in a world filled with so much stuff and external distractions, can we keep Christmas in Christmas and not turn it into a shopping frenzy about stuff and distractions?
Pete’s answer was pure and simple.
I want to be clear that like me, he and his family love everything about Christmas…the lights…the decorations…the celebrations…the food…the parties – everything, but more importantly, this day – December 25 and the weeks leading up to it, is a time of reflection, grace and love.
Pete shared that “It’s the difference between focusing on the Form vs. the Shadow.”
The shadow is stuff… the lights…the tree…the gifts…the celebrations…all the stuff. It’s all a shadow to the Form, which is the grace of Jesus and the gift that God gave a world that was suffering and living in darkness.
“Every one of us needs grace and more of it. Each of us has a unique opportunity to keep it simple and reawaken the wonder of Christmas.”
But how do we reawaken wonder?
Pete shared how we might look at wonder differently. It’s…
The Unexpected + the Undeserved = Wonder.
Complex? Not really. “Every year we expect and anticipate being inundated with Christmas stuff; and if we’re honest, we believe we’re deserving of it.”
I would only suggest you consider the truth in this statement.
What happens is we “end up settling for a vanilla version of Christmas…a Christmas without the wonder.”
And yet, the Christmas story is nothing short of wonder!
Pete shared the challenge of the expected and the deserved for all of us living in today’s world, but “when we keep things simple and we practice and teach our children the gift of giving and serving those who might have to go without…we begin to awaken the wonder. Christmas a the gift to All mankind.”
I’m challenged and I wonder if you are too, to go inward when the world tells us to find joy outside of ourselves and seek the next shiny object. Can we train ourselves to keep Christmas simple and pure? Can we spend time each day in the wonder and miracle of God’s gift to ALL humanity?
This year…I’m finding new ways and my heart is filled with peacefulness. Each night I sit in the darkness by my tree and seek solace in the quiet.
I’m grateful for the time I spent with Pete Wilson. I feel like I’m emerging from my safe cocoon and I’m not sure what lies ahead, but I know this…
There will still be parties…shopping…sparkly presents…a hurried pace…festivals and parades…but this year…I’m reawakening and keeping the wonder in Christmas.
How about you?
I’d love it if you’d leave a comment below and tell me how you’re keeping the wonder alive in your home.
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