Friday, November 25, 2011

I Confess that I was a Grinch

I had a memorable Thanksgiving yesterday however  today is what is known as "Black Friday" I share this thought about Christmas.

It was written by Susie at Recovering Church Lady.  I must confess that I did gripe about Christmas being too commercialized....til I read this post on her blog:

Christian Grinches?

Written Dec. 2010........
You will not read many rants on this blog but I do have an issue with a phenomenon that occurs every Christmas and it really bugs me. I do not understand the Christians who gripe about how "our" holiday is being ruined by commercialism, greed and division. Don't they see that they are ruining it by complaining and moaning about it all season?

I read a news article about some church people and atheists  who are putting up dueling billboards to prove.....well, I don't know what they are trying to prove, it makes no sense! Do they think that some words on a big sign are going to change the way a nation thinks about Christmas? Or about Jesus? 

The fictional character, the Grinch is about a creature who hates all the warm fuzzy feelings and spirit of giving that appear every December. Scrooge would get along really well with him. Unfortunately I am seeing and hearing a lot of church people who could be part of the same club! All they talk about is the greed and commercialism of Christmas. Don't they hear themselves? The subject is the opposite side of the issue but the mood and tone are exactly the same!

Maybe it is a 'glass half full or glass half empty' kind of thing. I see this time of year totally different. 

I walk through stores and hear God being honored and praised in the overhead music being piped in for all to hear. Can you imagine any other time that the words, "Glory to God in the highest" would be resounding in your ear as you are reaching for the dish soap off the store shelf?

The malls are crazy-busy and the lines are long, but it is because everyone is hunting down a gift to give away. The desire to find the perfect item that will bring a smile to a friend can't be a bad thing, can it? We are spending hard-earned money to express our love for one another. Not only are we buying gifts to give away but the treasure is being wrapped in pretty paper and sparkly bow, so that it brings a smile even before the friend knows what is hidden inside! 

What other time of year could you get away with walking from house to house singing songs about Jesus? I know that Christmas caroling does not happen much any more, but how crazy is that tradition? The recent uploads of flash mob musicals on YouTube are evidence that singing for other's enjoyment is still alive. Maybe these are the new version of caroling! 

Houses and yards are full of bright lights and scenes of cheer. Just driving to a friend's house at night is a colorful and uplifting experience! So what if there are more Santa scenes than Jesus scenes! Both are delivering a message of love and generosity. 

My Santa collection.

I love Jesus and I love Santa. I also have no problem distinguishing which one is real and which one is pretend. My Christmas includes both of them and seeing more Santas in store decorations does not make me angry or jealous that Jesus is not getting enough attention. I know He is the reason for the season but I don't need to walk around shouting it to the world. 

This is a unique time of year when we as Christians have so much opportunity to love others and give of ourselves in so many ways. We can walk around humming songs that speak of angels and the Savior. Strangers aren't freaked out if we smile at them and say "Merry Christmas", blessing them as we go about our daily business. 

What is the main question people ask one another at this time of year? "Are you going home for Christmas?". This holiday promotes family time and gathering with our loved ones. Christmas movies and stories are about forgiving one another and letting bygones be bygones. Hallmark movies make us all teary and mushy because they point us back to our families and healing old wounds. 

Jesus is the center of it all!

There is something about this season that calls us up to a better, kinder, more loving standard. Why complain about commercialism when it is pointing people in the right direction ultimately? I plan on exploiting Christmas and enjoying every opportunity to smile big at strangers and totally ruining the dark moods of the Grinches!


dr momi said...

I say Recovering Church Lady has it right!

Peace Be With You said...

I hear what your church friend is saying, but I still would prefer it if Christmas decorations and ads didn't start appearing before Thanksgiving.


Joanne said...

What great post!
Blessings, Joanne

Karen said...

I love Christmas, but not the commercialization of it. So we don't celebrate it commercially. A few gifts for the children, a big holiday dinner, and spending quality time with our loves ones. We also volunteer at the homeless shelter, helping to dish out the Christmas meal. We donate to the women's community house, and "adopt" a needy family- providing them with a hamper full of all the fixings for Christmas dinner, and a few small gifts for the family.

Christmas is what YOU make it, not what the retail stores do.


Ginny said...

Gosh, this is AMAZING!!! I never thought about it this way, thanks so much for posting it. I think I will pop over and tell her how much I liked her article. I hope we get to hear about your Thanksgiving, By MEMORABLE, I hope you meant that in a good way!

Chatty Crone said...

Never thought about it that way - it's true you know... sandie

Sandra said...

well this is a new way to look at it, and i am guilty of all of the above and in fact call myself Grinch at Christmas. thanks for reminding me to think before i grinch. this is great and I like what Karen said also, that works for me.

Recovering Church Lady said...

Wow, Kim, I had no idea you did this! Thanks for helping spread the word that this holiday is a wonderful time to live our Christian life boldly by REJOICING rather than grumping about commercialism.

I feel humbled and honored by this re-post Kim! Ginny came by my blog today thanks to you! Thank you so much!

The Elephant's Child said...

Thank you. Food for thought.

My Journey With Candida said...

I hate when atheists or christians try to push their beliefs on others. Live and let live!!

Just because a person calls themself a christian, that does not make them good. And... just because a person is an atheist, that doesn't make them bad.

DUTA said...

I'm not christian by faith, but I like Christmas and see nothing wrong in people's way of shopping and rejoicing before and during this holiday.

lynnmosher said...

What a great way to look at it!

Small Kucing said...

am not sure about your part of he world but here we also celebrate Christmas in a big way. All shopping malls are decked with all sorts of theme for christmas. Some even put up man made snow shows for the customer. The weather in Malaysia is to hot for us to have real snow

BlueShell said...

Wow...yes, this is so true!!!
I had a diferent idea...but after this text...I think I changed my mind....

Thank You, and God Bless You!

SueAnn said...

AMEN!!! I love this time of see all the smiling faces and hear the laughter of children! Giving to those less fortunate! What a wonderful season it is!!
No complaining from me!!
It's all good!

Have Myelin? said...

You have the nesting Santa dolls I see. =)

We used to sell the handpainted ones from Russia in our store. I have a couple of sets, I do!

We used to put up our tree ON Thanksgiving because it was the only time we had to do it. After that we were off and running due to our retail store.

Put up tree, cook turkey, eat, then go to work to prepare for the Black Friday crowd.

We were the Retailers....not the shoppers.

Mary K. Mennenga said...

Reinforcing what I was taught as a child. Christmas comes from the inside not the outside. Thank you

FiSh said...

you should enjoy Christmas and forget everything bad about it :) enjoy!


Aries said...

In Malaysia we used to have caroling but getting less and less. The worst is Chinese New Year next year falls on end of January and some of the dept store are already putting Chinese New songs when it is not Christmas yet. Oh dear but there are some supermarkets who still put up lovely giant Christmas tree

Shanda said...

Great article. I had not thought what a bad witness we are to the world by complaining about 'our' holiday. Thanks for sharing.

Debbie said...

A fresh perspective and a well timed kick in the pants for any and all grumbling. Jesus came into this world to complete a mission. That mission was to die so that I might have eternal life. The time set aside to celebrate his birth is a reason to sing songs of joy, not to grumble and complain.

Well written!

P.N. Subramanian said...

"glass half full or glass half empty". Yes its the way you look at things.

Flying high in the sky.... said...

hmmm....very interesting post!! different people..different feelings...different opinions..but all in search of one little thing "happiness" :)very nice post!!

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