Sunday, November 18, 2007

More stress than sincerity: Should we reconsider the way we celebrate holidays


We should absolutely reconsider the way we celebrate Holidays. I capitalize Holidays, because of where the word hails from: Holy Days. We should keep these days Holy, and celebrate with our family and friends with a pureness of spirit. Holidays are a great opportunity to celebrate and give thanks. We need not get bogged down with commercialism and stress.

From Thanksgiving to Valentines day and on to Easter, you should look at what the days really mean to you and decide if they are even worth celebrating at all. If you find that you want to pay tribute to these Holy Days, then lets get to it. Don't compare yourself to what you see on TV, read about, or see in those around you. Just put your heart into it, and play hard.

For the sake of this article, let's only look at Thanksgiving and Christmas. These are the Holidays that are imminently upon us. And believe me, for many, maybe even for you, the stress and anxiety have already begun.

Thanksgiving gives us an opportunity to count our blessings. We have food on our table, a roof over our heads, and friends to celebrate with. Even if the food comes from your local soup kitchen, the roof is the blue sky, and the friends are those around you at the soup kitchen, there IS a reason to celebrate. Life. God has given us a rich gift, and he meant us to revel in it. His Word says, in Philippians 4:4 "Rejoice in the Lord always, and again I say rejoice."

Christmas comes quickly after Thanksgiving for us adults. The children, who are excitedly counting down the days, may think the time seems to drag. For shoppers Christmas begins on black Friday. The day after Thanksgiving. The biggest shopping day of the year.

Since we are talking about avoiding stress and commercialism, and celebrating these Holy Days from our hearts and with our spirits; let me tell you this. You can enjoy a good black Friday without hurting your bank account. You can go, enjoy the crowds, get a bite to eat and an idea of what kinds of things you like, without even spending a dime on shopping. Believe me, it can be done. If that's what your budget requires, then do it. Enjoy the pleasure of being out and about, without the hassle of waiting in those long lines.

Christmas is the celebration of Jesus' birth. There are many ways to do it. Search your heart and decide how you would like to celebrate this Holiday. Whether you go to a party or two, a Christmas pageant, or sit around with a few friends and family talking and enjoying one another's company; there is much to celebrate and revel in. Jesus was born. God lived, breathed, and walked as a man.

And, think about this. In the Bible, Jesus said, "For even the Son of man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many." (Mark 10:45) So, when you go out and celebrate Jesus' birth, however you choose to do it, remember, He came to serve us. How can you emulate Him? Who can you serve?