Saturday, November 14, 2009

No Trouble with Christmas

No Trouble with Christmas

By Julie Kay Smithson

I have no trouble with this time of year being called Christmas or the Christmas Season. After all, this Christian nation in which I was born and bred, celebrates December 25th as the day Jesus was born to the Virgin Mary and her husband Joseph in a humble stable in Bethlehem.
On the surface, much of the Reason for this Holy Season seems to have been usurped by advertising agencies that have invented other names for Christmas trees, Christmas vacations, Christmas break, Christmas cookies, Christmas presents.

Harried store "associates" -- once known as cashiers -- dutifully recite, "Happy holidays," which provides the perfect opportunity for me to ask meekly, "Which holidays? The 4th of July? Valentine's Day? Which holidays?" The quick, grateful and joyful reply is often, "Christmas!" and we both smile!

Young parents, struggling to make the most basic of ends meet, may be overwhelmed by the advertising blitz that stresses spending over the nativity's sweet innocence. Christmas need not be a financially depleting holiday. Sharing food, Christmas caroling, and random acts of kindness all get gold stars for simplicity and heartwarming goodwill. Simple popcorn, strung together to make outside tree decorations for birds, need not become an obsolete family tradition. In fact, the blending of new traditions -- like LED Christmas lights, which use almost no electricity -- with old can make us smile without the next-month sticker shock of the credit card invoice.

Nearby are Nativity scenes, some with real people and supporting animal cast, at churches, some gracing the front lawns of private homes. Christmas carols, sung by people with hearts full of love and Christian charity, lighten hearts and brighten spirits. Kindnesses bestowed upon friends, family and strangers alike, surge to the forefront at this time of year. From gifting the gas station attendant in need of one or more of the following: warm gloves, hat, ear muffs, coffee, hot chocolate -- to the simple kindness of a 'grocery cart gathering' to help save store employees a little time outside, such actions will warm both the giver and receiver.

From the offerings of warm water, nuts, corn, bread crusts and crumbs and more to the birds and other animals we love to stay wild -- but still revere the directive of Genesis to have dominion o'er them all -- to the special treats we make and gather for our beloved pets, family and friends, the simplest things can become the most cherished memories. From the unused coats we donate to those whose needs outstrip our blessings, to the myriad ways in which we can make a difference just by being a friend, Christmas shines through with Son Light from our souls.

Those of us who have no trouble with Christmas should be saying it out, strong and clear, celebrating the birth of our Lord, Jesus Christ: We have no trouble with Christmas!

477 words.

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