Tis the season to be jolly, fa la la la la, la la la la. Really? If so, which one is the cause of it all?
Well, according to Psychology Today,
“ …around Christmas time most people with suicidal thoughts are offered some degree of protection by the proximity of their relatives and, at least in the Northern Hemisphere, the prospect of ‘things getting better from here’.”
But, what happens when they are not around? What happens when you have a major row with your “loved” one in the run-up to Christmas? So much so, that you do not want to have anything to do with him or her, just like it happened to my mother and I several years ago.
I marvel at just how tense our Christmases used to be. My mother and I would regularly meet up throughout the year, sharing a meal together, without much friction, but at Christmas time, that was when either my mother or I (or both of us) would don our troll outfits just for the occasion! Why?
I don’t know why. All I know is that it was our custom. The prospect of a fun filled, joyous Christmas is almost a thing of the past for me. It is reserved for bright-eyed little children, like my own, who are still keenly anticipating the season with wonder and amazement. I, on the other hand, am not all that fond of Christmas. With having to work on Christmas Eve and Boxing Day, (the day after Christmas), it is just a day off with a turkey.
Let’s face it. We teach our children that it is wrong to lie, and it is at this time of the year that we do the lying. The cookie and the glass of milk are indeed consumed by Santa! (I hope my children won’t read this!)
Seriously though, why do we do this to ourselves? I mean, what’s all of the fuss, anyhow? Christmas trees, stockings, hours in the kitchen and in shops or online to buy all those often elusive presents for people who may not even need or like the items we give them anyhow. Not to mention the huge credit card bills to pay off in January. How stressful! Not joyous at all!
Yes, Christmas is a sad reminder of how much we humans habitually miss the point. It is not about the buying and giving of presents, and let’s forget about the twelve days of Christmas and what “my true love sent to me”. It is a me-centred focus. Moreover, it is definitely not about Santa and Rudolph.
Don’t get me wrong; being a generous giver is a good thing. After all, it is more blessed to give than to receive (Acts 20:35), and who can out-give God?He gave us the most precious gift of all in order that we may be saved:
“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only (Or unique, only one of His kind) begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him” (John 3:16–17).
Moreover, he willingly and lovingly gave up his own body to be brutally beaten and ultimately he gave up his life on the cross.
So, I am not saying that we should stop giving, for we are called to emulate God.
Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children; 2 and walk in love, just as Christ also loved you and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma (Ephesians 5:1).
Therefore, each one of us who have called on the name of the Lord in faith and are saved, (Romans 10:13) must do just as he has purposed in his heart, not grudgingly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver (2 Corinthians 9:7), We are not to foolishly devote ourselves to commercialism that we so customarily pursue. It is a completely wrong focus that steals our joy.
My encouragement for all of us this Christmas and thereafter is to reassess our priorities and to learn the secret of true fulfilment. It is the giving of our lives to meet the needs of others. This is to be done from a place of having first received from God the best and grandest gift of all: Jesus and also his own life in our own lives, that which he gave up for us in order that we too may be able to give just like him (Matthew 10:8).