Thursday, December 11, 2008

"It's beginning...

to feel a lot like Christmas, everywhere you go..."

I found myself singing happily while driving through the snow to Walmart tonight. There's just something about snow that brings out the kid in me. I get all giddy like Buddy the Elf smiling at everyone and everything just cuz "it's my favorite," snow that is. And as cheesy as it is, it really DOES feel a lot more like Christmas when there's snow on the ground.

Now, maybe television and all the Christmas specials they run every year are to blame, because there were maybe only one or two Christmases when I was growing up that we actually had snow. South Alabama is definitely not know for it. You are more likely to be wearing short sleeve shirts (and very possible shorts as well) on Christmas Day in South Alabama than to be having a snowball fight.

So that leaves me pondering, "What should Christmas feel like?" I think for those of us who know Christ, deep down we know that Christmas is really about Jesus' birth, his coming to earth to save us. Yet it is just as easy for us to get caught up in all the spending and excess that has become widely accepted this time of year. And as I get ready to go shopping for my family, dreading the crowds because school is out tomorrow (downside to the snow), I am glad we decided to set a spending limit this year. It's been a tougher year on some financially, and I, for one, think it may even help us focus more on just enjoying each other's company.

I think maybe that should indeed be more of our focus, spending time with family and friends, and sometimes people we barely know (gotta love those company parties). After all, that's what Jesus did most of the time, he just spent time with people. He listened to and spent time with people. It reminds me of those homemade gift certificates we would make for our parents as kids. "This certificate good for one hug from Jill." "This certificate good for one afternoon at the park with Jill." Granted, we, the kids, gave those mostly at the last minute because we forgot or didn't have any money to buy a present. Mom/Dad would always make you believe it was the best present in the world and just what they wanted.

Maybe that's what we all really want, really need, just to spend more time with each other. I think that's what Christmas is supposed to feel like.