Wow! It's getting Christmas-ish everywhere! You could see it on the faces. You could feel it in the air. You could hear it in the horn-blowin’ holiday traffic. There was a lotta Yuletide…grumpiness!
You know how it is at Christmas…it’s the season of love, giving, “peace on earth, good-will towards men”. I praise God so much for every ounce of that! How we need it, now and all through the year! As Scrooge’s nephew, Fred put it, “… I have always thought of Christmas time, when it comes round…as a good time: a kind, forgiving, charitable, pleasant time…”
But with the shopping pressure, the baking pressure, the financial pressure, the time pressure, well, folks just get pressured! There was so much pushing and shoving on Black Friday that they were calling one store “BrawlMart”!
I guess Christmas stress and pressure has been around a long time...
Harriet Beecher Stowe wrote a Christmas story (before she finished “Uncle Tom’s Cabin”), where someone says, “Oh, dear! Christmas is coming in a fortnight, and I have to think up presents for everyone! Dear me, it’s so tedious! Everybody has already got everything that can be thought of…It’s impossible to decide what presents to get for people who have more than they know what to do with now…” She said that in the old days, a child would have been “perfectly delighted with a single piece of candy…Nowadays things are different. There are worlds wasted, at this time of year in getting things nobody wants, and nobody cares for after they are got!”
One ad in a Boston magazine in 1823 said..
“ ‘There is a time for giving’, says Solomon the king, and had that preacher lived in these days, he would have acknowledged that there is no time like the present and never a better assortment of gifts. If he could have just peeped into the Bookstore of Monroe & Francis, he would have found a book for each of his wives and for all of his concubines, and for each of their children!”
The Ghost of Christmas Presents has been haunting us a long time!
It would be awesome if the remembrance of the coming of the Prince of Peace was a time of peace…if during the whole season, and not just for one night, “all was calm, all was bright.” Thankfully, today there are support groups for alcoholics, workaholics, even choco-holics! But some folks get so compulsive at Christmastime, someone needs to start a group for Deck-the-hall-ics!!
What if we decided that this year would be the Christmas of Going Slower!...Singing More!…Spending Less!...Baking More!...Buying Less! (Average American spends…$750 at Christmas! Each person! Wow! In some countries, that’s more than the average income per year!)
Sometimes, it makes my heart so sad that Christmas is not about the “retelling of the story”, but the “retail-ing of the stores”.
I’m not trying to be a "Scrooge" about Christmas. But really Scrooge was the one who wouldn’t stop buying and dealing, in order to, as Bob Cratchit said, “remember upon Christmas Day, the One Who made lame men walk and blind men see”. All Scrooge cared about was buying, deals, savings and profit… even on Christmas Eve! If you say, “I’m NOT going to get carried away with commercialism and materialism this Christmas!”, you’re not the Scrooge…
In a world of Christmas Scrooges, you’re Bob Cratchit!
“God bless us, everyone!”