Thursday, December 23, 2010

Santamas time. I mean Christmas time.

I'm currently sitting at my parent's kitchen table, far, far from our own apartment in Texas, soaking in Christmas and this moment before the holiday passes and my husband and I have to reload our little truck and trek halfway across the country back to where we came from to resume our daily lives. This is the first Christmas that I've lived away from home, and I'm so thankful to spend it with our family. At the same time the length of a round-trip between Texas and Florida and the efforts and expenses involved have brought home the reality of over 1,100 miles. The realization of the distance is put somewhat of a damper on my happy time. At this point you're probably inclined to encourage me to enjoy my stay and not think about it. But it's hard to do when I look around this cozy little house I know so well and can't help but tell myself "soak it in because you have no clue when you'll be back".

At the same time, living far away has made the holidays mean much more. Which in turn has made me want to go in to Walmart and tear the wrapping paper off of every check out aisle number, shred every cardboard Santa Claus, and punch a few panhandlers in the parking lot who grow in numbers around the holidays to take advantage of the season of generosity. Never in my life have I felt so disgusted by this facade of Christmas spirit. They throw prayer out of schools with no problem (and with little protest from us, to boot) but if Jesus' birthday can make money then everyone is all the sudden interested. How did it go from a celebration of God incarnate to dragging a dead tree into our living room, saying it's beautiful, and telling our children to sit on the lap of an overweight elderly man in pajamas? I'd like to know! The answer is that no one cares what it's really about. They don't even seem to care that secondly, it's about family. There's nothing in the world that I need or want, but if there was the excitement of its acquisition could not possibly compare to that of being at home with my family doing simple traditions.

One of my favorite things to do this time of year is to take a Christmas song we've all heard thousands of times and really listen to the lyrics. It's easy not to, because we know the song so well before we're even old enough to understand it. So the next time you hear a super old Christmas jingle, stop and think of it's meaning. Pay attention to the words...

O holy night! The stars are brightly shining,
It is the night of our dear Saviour's birth.
Long lay the world in sin and error pining,
Till He appeared and the soul felt its worth.
A thrill of hope the weary world rejoices,
For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn.

Fall on your knees! O hear the angels' voices!
O night divine, O night when Christ was born;
O night divine, O night, O night Divine.

Led by the light of faith serenely beaming,
With glowing hearts by His cradle we stand.
So led by light of a star sweetly gleaming,
Here come the wise men from Orient land.
The King of Kings lay thus in lowly manger;
In all our trials born to be our friend.

He knows our need, to our weakness is no stranger,
Behold your King! Before Him lowly bend!
Behold your King, Before Him lowly bend!

Truly He taught us to love one another;
His law is love and His gospel is peace.
Chains shall He break for the slave is our brother;
And in His name all oppression shall cease.
Sweet hymns of joy in grateful chorus raise we,
Let all within us praise His holy name.

Christ is the Lord! O praise His Name forever,
His power and glory evermore proclaim.
His power and glory evermore proclaim.


  1. i wish blogger had a 'like' option at the end of posts because i would push it at the end of every blog you write - just as a way of saying that 'i agree'

  2. Is it ok to cry at a blog? because I just did.

  3. That is totally my favorite Christmas song ever! I was driving home from work right before Christmas and it came on the radio and I started crying. Which isn't really safe while driving in holiday traffic.
    I totally agree with btw :)