I drove down to see my dad last weekend and was pleasantly surprised that traffic was not too bad. Except when I went by the shopping malls. Then the freeway exits were backed up for a mile and all the lanes around the actual mall entrances were so crowded that I sat through some lights three times! Crazy! I stopped going to malls quite a few years ago. (Don’t get me wrong: I am a good American. I spend more than I should, but I do it online or through catalogs.)
It is now a week before Christmas, and I can only imagine that many are still rushing and running trying to be prepared. Is the tree up and decorated? Presents bought and wrapped? Meals planned and goodies baked? Parties attended—or planned for family, friends, and the extra guests that seem to materialize every year? Kids get over tired and crabby—and excited making it even harder to sleep. Parents get over extended too with little sleep and too much to do.
Christmas is such a wondrous time of year, full of love, hope and celebration. It reminds us of what is best in the world and gives us a chance to keep traditions and build memories. But making it through all the hustle and bustle to get to Christmas Day can be a daunting task. Several things can help us survive all the festivities:
To laugh at the commercialism we subject ourselves too, as noted in this variation of a classic: “The Twelve Pains of Christmas.” Laughing at ourselves can help us get through almost anything.
To remember kids are kids, and it is not always easy to be good—even if a Shelf Elf is watching. One of my favorite carols of the season is “I’m Getting Nuttin’ for Christmas.” I first heard this tune as a kid and now have a stuffed animal I haul out each year that plays this song when you press its foot! Being a little naughty isn’t really so bad, is it?
And the most obvious: Remember the real reason for the season! This clip from “A Charlie Brown Christmas” says it all. About 2.5 minutes in, Linus explains what Christmas is all about! I read somewhere that initially the networks did not want the scriptures to be quoted in this television special but Shultz insisted! Thank goodness. In this clip, Charlie Brown eventually asserts, “I won’t let all this commercialism ruin my Christmas!” That’s what we all need to do.
So, slow down. Drink some hot chocolate or eggnog. Sing some Christmas hymns. Hug family and friends. Give of your time to those you love. Read the Bible. And truly enjoy the season! To help with the celebration, here is a video to enjoy of a Christmas Flash Mob—thanks to my cousin Rick for sharing it with me so I could share it with you.
HO! HO! HO! Merry Christmas!