I’ve been watching Facebook and I know some of you are stressing out about Christmas and noting that it’s their least favourite time of the year.
For some of you, I get it — grieving losses, disillusionment, disgust at the consumerism, the expectations of having to shop, etc — but for me Christmas is a wonderful time of the year! The music, the smiles on people’s faces, the get togethers with family and friends, the scheming of buying and hiding gifts, the GIVING of gifts (sometimes anonymously), etc, etc, etc.
I went into town this morning to go to the Post Office and got “stuck” in the “traffic jam” of the Mount Albert Santa Claus Parade. Watching the kids line the streets waiting and watching brought back so many memories. I couldn’t help but get a little teary as the crude floats passed and I remembered doing the same as a kid with my parents growing up in London. It wasn’t about Santa. It was about seeing their friends in the parade, drinking hot chocolate, sucking on a candy cane that a clown had given you, and meeting and greeting your neighbours.
It could have been a huge annoyance as I was trying to run errands, but it created a wonderful pause in my day.
Christmas is definitely about the birth of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ, but it’s also about family, friends and sharing the things we have been abundantly blessed with. May this Christmas NOT be a time you dread. May it reopen your eyes to the wonders and blessings you have been given and may it inspire you to ‘pay it forward’ and to enjoy the faces of those around you.