The Tinsel, the Lights, or the Gift

“For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given, and the government shall be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” Isaiah 9:6 (NIV)

A couple of weeks ago while watching evening TV, I came across a show which emphasized individuals who “obsessed” over all things Christmas. The first segment dealt with a woman who was obsessed over “gingerbread men/items” and all things made with ginger. She used this spice in her food items–she kept a 155-lb. drum of ginger in her kitchen to create her latest concoction. She even purchased and carried around a larger-than-life stuffed gingerbread woman everywhere she went. As the segment continued, she expressed a desire to paint her home in a gingerbread color. She contacted a painting contractor, and he painted the home according to her specifications. Her daughter then surprised her mom by adding gingerbread decorations on the outside and told her mother that she would be willing to carry on the tradition of the gingerbread into the next century. This woman appeared to be genuinely happy and totally caught up in her obsession.

The next segment dealt with a man who, for over 20 years, celebrated Christmas every day. From the decorations in his house to the presents under the tree, he celebrated this holiday with his daughter and her family for 7,300 days. He rose early every day so that he could bake a fresh turkey in the oven. He indicated that he had burnt out several ovens over the years in the process of creating the perfect turkey for the dinner. His motivation for doing this was due to an unfortunate chain of events in his relationship with his spouse. In order to cheer himself up, he decided to decorate with Christmas decorations/ornaments. This made him happy so he continued this new found tradition for over 20 years. They even sang Christmas carols every day.

The last segment I watched was regarding a couple who was obsessed with finding and purchasing Santa and Mrs. Claus collectibles. Their tiny place was consumed with figurines–soft and hard–and they could barely move around. They hunted high and low for that one collectible they did not own. They kept track of what they already had by taking a photo of each item and keeping a list of them so they did not duplicate anything. It turned out this particular Christmas they decided to hunt for the “perfect” live Santa Claus so that they could include him in their annual Christmas picture. They interviewed and narrowed it down to three candidates, then chose the “one” real Santa to include. A professional photographer came to their home to make sure the picture turned out great.

As I sat in my living room watching and listening to their stories, I could not help but wonder why the Christ child had not been mentioned even one time. After all, the reason most of us celebrate Christmas is because Jesus came over 2,000 years ago and is the reason for the season. I thought how sad that people could be so overly obsessed with Christmas in the ways described above that they forgot to realize that He came to give us hope, joy, peace and love during this time of year.

During the holidays, I enjoy all the decorations–both in the stores and on the outside of homes in my neighborhood and community–but all of this should not be the main focus of why we celebrate Christmas. The scripture in Isaiah 9:6 says that: “For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given, and the government shall be upon his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” (NIV)

As we celebrate this Christmas season and look forward to a new year, let us remember how He came that we could have abundant life and how He later sacrificed His life so that we could be free from our sin and experience eternal life.

May you have a joyous, blessed Christmas Season surrounded by friends and family and remember His love and spread it to others.