Linus Van Pelt: [after Linus and Charlie Brown discover the little tree] Gee, do they still make wooden Christmas trees?
Charlie Brown: This little green one here seems to need a home.
Linus Van Pelt: I don’t know, Charlie Brown. Remember what Lucy said? This doesn’t seem to fit the modern spirit.
Charlie Brown: I don’t care. We’ll decorate it and it’ll be just right for our play. Besides, I think it needs me.
[picks up tree; a lot of needles fall off]
Christmas is the time of year for family & friends, giving, and joy. Decorating the Christmas tree, stringing lights on the porch & windows, drinking egg nog, hot chocolate with marshmallows & wassail, giving & opening presents, Christmas cards, snuggling under a blanket watching holiday movies, attending the Christmas service at church, playing in the snow, and ugly sweater Christmas parties are fun traditions that I love to share with family and friends.
Christmas is also the time of year when you sit in traffic for hours, parking spaces are stolen, theft is high, we spend more than we have, bills go unpaid, and greed, guilt, ungratefulness, jealousy & envy are inevitable.
This is not what Christmas means to me.
When I was a child, I had no idea what my parents went through to make sure we had a good Christmas. Shopping on Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving (after you just spent your bill money, on the biggest dinner of the year), buying wrapping paper, bows, & ribbon, baking cookies for Santa Claus, wrapping gifts until 2 in the morning, getting up at 7:00a to cook us breakfast, telling the story of when Jesus was born to Mary in Bethlehem… the list goes on-and-on. I have wonderful holiday memories of Christmas time with my family, but as I got older, I began hating the greed, guilt, ungratefulness, envy that I felt every year…
…I hoped I would get certain presents and had to spend extra money on my friends & family (Christmas is the season of giving) – Greed
…When I couldn’t afford to buy certain gifts, I would feel bad because I didn’t have enough money – Guilt
…Not getting what I wanted made me feel badly – Ungratefulness
…I felt badly when my friends got more gifts than I did – Jealousy & Envy
The standard of Christmas is cultural, traditional, and popular culture & media have made it so hard to keep up. We have allowed ourselves to just go-with-the-flow, and do what the media tells us we should do when it comes to celebrating Christmas. We have even told ourselves that Christmas is about celebrating the birth of Jesus, when in reality, I do not think that God is pleased with the way we choose to celebrate…the extra spending, when in reality, we don’t have the money to spend. Every story in the Bible speaks about how Jesus gave to the needy, the poor, the less fortunate, the sick. I didn’t read a single verse in the Bible, about lights, Christmas trees, decorations, over-eating…the list goes on-and-on… The spending spirit, has become the American tradition during the Christmas holiday and it causes stress on us because we are just trying to keep up.
This is my daughters first Christmas and I decided that I am not buying a tree, ornaments, lights, wreaths, wrapping paper, bows, ribbons, gift bags; un-needed toys, clothing and shoes. I don’t want my daughter to think that this is what Christmas is about. I got my immediate family each one gift and a few friends a gift and that’s it! I refuse to be stressed about a man-made holiday, no matter what meaning is behind it. And sadly, I feel guilty about not participating in the traditions…people make you feel bad…
“you are not gonna get your baby a tree?”
“it’s her first Christmas! She deserves some decorations!”
“so, how does the baby like her tree?”
“you are not getting the baby any gifts?”
I am not rich! I am not even in a good financial state and most would still spend the money for their bills, to try to have a good Christmas, but that is just not me. The pressure is not fair.
The true meaning of Christmas, is about the simple things, spending time with family, laughter, love, joy, and peace.
Christmas is not about spending you last dime!
Image source: Google