without a smidgen of hesitation, the cashier at the grocery store said it. the guy that checks receipts at costco said it. the customer service lady at jcpenney said it. “happy holidays” has become the norm around this time of year. i remember, not too long ago, when everything began making the transition from “christmas” to “holiday”, but now, in 2010, it seems there never was a christmas to begin with. except at school. don’t get me wrong, the two weeks that strategically fall, year-after-year around december 25th, are still a part of the school calendar and are labeled as “winter break” (when i once knew them as christmas break). but the students still talk about christmas and what it means to them. they have not lost the wonder that is christmas. it’s refreshing to realize that it hasn’t been completely replaced yet, but i fear that it won’t be long before it does.
happy holidays. a meaningless phrase to so many. and a time of year, that for no reason at all (because the meaning has become so clouded over the years), we go out and spend money we don’t have on trinkets that we hope will bring joy to the faces of the ones we love. and we stress over finding those perfect thing(s) that will make people happy. i’m not trying to be a scrooge, but over the past few years i have found myself growing more and more frustrated with the hustle and bustle of this time of year. i have lost the wonder of ornaments, tinsel, and presents under the tree.
christmas is about Jesus. it is about His birth. it is about the wonderous joy He brought to earth so many years ago. it’s not about shopping malls, toys and trinkets, or christmas lights.
with a young daughter of my own, i will not completely toss out tradition, don’t worry! i’m sure my husband, one of the biggest christmas decoration fans i know, is now taking a sigh of relief as he reads this. ;) our daughter will get to experience the christmas tree, the christmas ornaments, the christmas lights, the christmas cookies, and the christmas presents. but she will be raised knowing that Jesus is the reason for celebration of this “holy day”. i read recently that a family puts “love, Jesus” on all the christmas gifts they give to their children as a reminder that everything they have comes from Him. what a wonderful tradition!
and so, this year, i am determined to keep the reason for the season the motivation for celebrating.