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Ok, enough avoiding it. I’ll write something about Christmas. Don’t get me wrong. I love Christmas. It is one of my favorite holidays but as such I believe it is badly abused. Christmas began as a celebration of Christ’s birth, a sign of change. He was destined to free the oppressed, love the unlovable, forgive the unforgivable, and unify Jews and Gentiles (non-Jews) alike. What is Christmas a sign of now?  Headaches, colds, screaming children begging for toys, adults acting like middle-schoolers clobbering each other for the best deal on a new TV they still can’t afford, crowded malls, fat men in red suits, flying reindeer, and going to see relatives you may or may not like.

I myself am guilty of getting caught up in the hustle and bustle, the stress, the fun, the commercialism. I forget the reason for the holiday. Yes, it is about family and generosity but it is also about a small child, who even then got lost in the business of the current situation. A child tucked away in a stable little knowing he would grow up to change the world. Christmas is supposed to inspire hope and generosity toward the people around us, not turn us into stressed out shells of people waiting for the whole mess to blow over.

As you run around getting your last minute shopping and baking done, as you gather with family and exchange goodies, take a moment no matter how short to think about what the very first Christmas meant for you personally. Where would you be without that babe in a manger, without the hope of a Savior? Where would you be without someone to tell you, you are worth it all, that there is something better than what we have now? Give thanks for family and presents and for the knowledge that long lines and weird blinking sweaters aren’t all we have to look forward to. Merry Christmas.