Reason For The Season

or Why must we buy all of that?

by Lura Langenback

© 12/09/03

It is again the Christmas season with great numbers of people buying expensive and not so expensive presents for family and friends. The kids will be getting out of school soon for the Christmas break which always means the problems of little noses in places they should not be. The hustle and bustle of last minute shopping is about to be upon us for those who wait entirely too long. Ah, Christmas. Everything is about the same every year. And that's the problem.

People do not spend as much time thinking about the real reason for the season. Every year we have the rush to get there first to buy whatever hot items are on sale. Remember the cabbage patch kids? I do. People almost trampled each other to purchase individualized dolls for horrendous amounts of money simply because someone said that was the hot item. Who told you that? Advertisers! Furbies? Those little creatures could talk their own language and were so expensive, you thought you were buying a new kid. Almost every year there is one thing or another. Maybe things are just a little out of hand now.

The advertisers have a major advantage because they can throw a new toy into a television commercial, tout it as being the hottest new toy on the market and somewhere, somehow, the buying public goes nuts trying to be the first or the last to buy one before they are gone because their child just HAS to have one. Or what? They will wither away? The child will poof into oblivion? What? We are being programmed to run out and purchase that item or we will be horrible parents. Who thinks so? The advertisers, the kid that didn't get the hot item and, of course, anyone who looks at you with 'that look' that says you are not a good provider for your children.

Does this really tell the child that we care or is this a way to keep him from screaming that he doesn't ever get what he really wants? We are spoiling the kids to the point that they don't use their imaginations, they don't try to "make do" with what they have. Do we honestly think that the kids care about these things? At our house, most of the Christmas presents end up in a closet or toy box where they stay indefinitely until it's clean out time to make way for new things.

Did I say "make do"? What a concept! When I was growing up, money did not flow as easily as it does now. When we received presents, we pretended everything with them. It wasn't all completely lifelike and fully equiped in every way. We did not believe our parents were shortchanging us if we did not have what all the other kids had. In fact, the presents that were the most fun were the ones that we could use our imaginations with because there were no limits!

Maybe we have lost the real reason why Christmas is celebrated in the shuffle of grab, grab, grab the biggest, the best, the wonderful toy, shoes, clothes that we have bought to impress the person we bought it for. Who are we trying to influence and why? Who are we trying to kid? It comes down to our own egos in the long run. We simply HAVE to get that thing for someone that's better, brighter or more fun than the next guy got them. We MUST make sure our kids know we care about them. Why? Don't they know that anyway? The season is out of hand and there appears to be no stopping it. Unless, of course, we choose to stop the insanity.

What is it about this particular season that makes us into raving idiots, sometimes spending our entire paychecks or whole savings accounts, in some cases? Isn't about time we stepped back to take a good look at what we are doing? Yes, the kids expect certain toys, certain clothes. Why? Because we have taught them that greed at this time of year is okay, expected and encouraged.

On Christmas morning, in many homes, there will be a pile of presents for a few children and adults. The kids will count the numbers and complain if one gets more than the others. They will look at certain items and cast them aside because it wasn't exactly what they wanted. The child will be disappointed and jealous because their sister or brother got what they had been looking for all year. When it takes hours for the family to open presents, it is TOO MUCH!!!!

Christmas is not the time for impressing people. It is not the time to grab the hottest items. It is not the time to run someone over to get to the thing before they do or steal it out of their hands just because you are stronger. This is the time to reflect on your life, to honor the Person for whom this holiday was named. Some people do not even know what the actual purpose of Christmas really is. Oh, they go to church on the Eve and watch the little play that inevitably is portrayed. But do they really know what it's all about? Most do not know.

Why do we give presents to each other on Christmas? The Child that was born, the reason for the season, was Jesus, the Christ. We should be honoring Him instead of trying to spend all we have to impress whoever is looking this year. The children do not have to have all those toys. Where is the present for Jesus? It's HIS birthday, not ours.

Why don't we sit back, relax and find out what Christmas really means. One night, an angel came to a young girl and told her that she would have a baby and that baby would be the Savior of the world. When the Child was born, angels sang, a bright star lit up the eastern sky, shepherds followed that star and came to see the baby, wise men from the east also followed the star to see the Child. They gave Him valuable and precious gifts to honor a king. Why would they do this? Because the Child was to be our Savior, Jesus the Christ. Although, it is likely that He was not born in December, most of the world honors Him on the 25th of December each year.

No longer do most folks truly seek to honor the King of kings and Lord of lords on this special day. We have lost track of the most precious reason for this season. Perhaps this time, this one time, we could stop and remember why we are actually celebrating, forgetting for just a brief moment, that we are not done shopping or wrapping, not finished with the baking. For just one precious bit of time, maybe we could take the time to thank the Lord for what He has done for us because it really is HIS birthday. Just one brief moment to tell Him we love Him since the season is all about LOVE and PEACE, two things that Jesus truly has given to us already as He died on the cross at Calvary and rose again to fulfill the promise.

As we sit down to that celebration feast, as we tear apart those beautifully wrapped boxes, as we stare into the lights of the Christmas tree, as we watch the games on television, let us take one moment to remember that it isn't about us, it's about Him. Thank You, Jesus! Happy Birthday to You!