This may come as a shock to those of you who don’t know me.
Heck, it will probably come as a shock to those of you who do.
I hate the holiday season.
Thats right, I said it.
I’m a grouch.
An ebenezer scrooge.
You’ll shoot your eye out, kid.
But at least you’re subscribed to the “jelly of the month” club.
Holidays just never seem to go well for me.
And its already started with thanksgiving this year.
What I had planned on was going to Sylacauga to have dinner with my girlfriend’s family.
We broke up in early November.
Have dinner at my parents as the single little brother to get made fun of.
And no turkey this year, which was kind of sad.
We had ham instead.
And no sweet potato casserole.
I’m beginning to wonder what has happened to my actual family.
Then my truck dies on highway 431 on the way home.
This is not a pleasant day.
In light of the unexpected expense of having the truck towed and alternator rebuilt, my dad and I cancel the trip to the Egg Bowl.
Which, as it turns out, was probably the greatest egg bowl ever featuring a 17 point 4th quarter come-from-behind win.
Now the Christmas season is in full swing.
And to be honest, I’m not sure who is nuttier.
All the people that are anti people saying “Merry Christmas…”
Or all the Christians that are excelling at missing the point entirely.
This is what Christmas has become.
An ill-advised, misinformed cacophony of celebrations highlighted by sure historical inaccuracies and cover-up conspiracies.
For starters, Jesus probably wasn’t even born in the winter.
Most studies I’ve read indicate that it was probably sometime in the fall.
So, happy belated birthday Jesus.
So why do we celebrate in the winter?
Basically to cover up a pagan celebration of the winter solstice.
Most of our Christmas traditions actually stem from those of pagan worship.
Its actually pretty much the same thing at Easter, too.
Us witty Christians taking a pagan holiday, renaming everything, and celebrating our own God in the mix.
Seriously, as far as religion goes, us Christians really aren’t very original at all.
Now for the disclaimer.
I believe in the virgin birth of Jesus Christ which we celebrate this time of year.
I believe he is God’s only son, sent as a sacrifice for our sins.
I believe he died on a cross, was buried, and resurrected three days later.
I believe that we are redeemed by faith in him, and his work on the cross.
That being said…
Christmas has become grossly commercial.
And not just in the secular world.
We all buy into it.
Buy being the key word there.
It has become so much about stuff.
For a solid month.
And we justify by giving to others.
And saying that is what brings us joy.
When, actually, I think what brings most people joy this time of year is the free pass to shop and spend all they want.
93% of teenage girls, and I’m sure their adult counterparts aren’t far behind, list shopping as their favorite activity.
But shopping for someone isn’t what brings happiness to the recipient.
Tonight, rather than having a Bible study, the youth delivered fruit baskets to some of the elderly people in our community.
That brought joy to peoples nights.
A group of kids giving them something.
Giving them apples, oranges, bananas, crackers, various candies.
Yeah, but that’s not the point either.
Giving them love.
Giving them hope.
Giving them joy.
That’s what Christmas should be about.
And for some, it is.
And that’s good.
But guess what.
That also isn’t the point.
Shouldn’t we be doing these things year round?
Spreading God’s love.
Giving people a reason to have hope.
Why do we do it more this time of year?
Maybe its so that all our charitable tax-deductible donations will still be fresh on our minds when we file at the beginning of the next year.
We have greatly missed the point.
Christmastime should not be viewed as a time we are to do more for others.
To be more charitable in our giving.
To buy more, and get more stuff.
But it should be a celebration of the first glimpse the world had on the face of God.
A celebration of that gift, because there is none greater.
A celebration of the life that Christ has given us through his death and resurrection.
That is the point of Christmas.
And I hate the holidays because it should be so glaringly obvious to all of us.
Yet we all miss the point.
Even when we know what it is.
Peace and love.