However, the trend to purge, cutback, fast, and give up after January 1 tells of our subconscious recognition of the problem. I hear statistics of stress, anxiety, and depression during and after the holidays, and I can only imagine that we as a culture have strayed unintentionally from purpose and truth.
Why do we want to engage in constant gift-giving, treat-eating, and slander-speaking around a time meant for peace, joy, and love? Well, because if we are honest, none of those previous gerunds (grammatical term- a form derived from a verb but functions as a noun, ending in -ing) are meant to insight gluttony. We desire to spread love by gifting, baking, celebrating, and catching up with loved ones. This is a beautiful thing! Christmas really is one of "the most wonderful times of the year" (despite what you may have assumed based on everything preciously stated here. Why, then, when it arrives do we lose sight of our initial intentions? Because, we all want to be the ones who give the best present, see children light up, and create magical memories by reminiscing on past ones. We hold flawed expectations. We can't desire simplicity, peace, and joy if we also secretly desire a "Griswold Family Christmas."
The problem of trying to shield my children from excess and instill a counter-cultural Christmas is a "rich man's problem." A rich man's problem is a bit ridiculous when compared to those of the rest of the world. I should be so grateful to be loved and have my children loved so much. GRACE. Grace is the missing antidote to a disappointing or frustrating holiday. Grace for others. Grace for ourselves. And a true silence to see the Grace of God in Christ Jesus coming to Earth for our flawed nature. In those quiet moments, we can whisper truth and pray for hearts to live out peace, joy, and love the whole rest of the New Year. Let go of expectations and live simply each moment.
|A rare family photo with 3 states and three generations represented. Levi apparently saw a better picture behind us! :)|