Friday, December 16, 2011

Saving Christmas

"And that was the year that Buddy saved Christmas..."
There are some pretty fantastic movies out there (and, I admit, some pretty terrible ones-- exhibit A) about an unlikely hero who steps up to save Christmas from certain disaster.

Looking back over the last several years, I've had these high hopes & big aspirations for what Christmas could look like. If you think about it, it has the makings of a great story: there is something pure, wonderful and good that is at risk of being corrupted & overrun by stress, consumerism & greed. Our chance to celebrate the arrival of freedom, peace & hope stands against an army of gingerbread men, Holiday sales, and tense trips back & forth to relative's houses. Pretty high stakes there.

Every year, I come up with a plan for preserving the meaning behind Christmas and holding it in my heart-- and every year there comes a point when I realize that my plan isn't working so well. This year, the plan was to blog everyday during advent, to reflect on Scripture from the advent readings, to keep in mind the significance behind each of our activities, and to simply set aside time for what was important. And as I lay in bed with a nasty cold for weeks, I realized that my big plans to save Christmas were crumbling.

The sense of contentment with my stuff has been replaced by a haunting siren call for new shoes, sweaters & skinny jeans. The desire to donate Christmas money to our favorite non-profit has been replaced by a hunger for things shiny, new & fashionable. The desire to spend my after-baby hours blogging, reading & reflecting has been replaced by a need to address Christmas cards, bake cookies, answer emails, make gifts, and order stuff on Amazon.

I can feel the tension, the weight that pulls me away from what I had hoped for & intended, and I feel tired & lazy. So the question is: What will our hero choose? Will she be able to save Christmas? Or will she end up disappointed, stressed out & a little gluttonous (with a really cute pair of black ankle boots)?

Here, my friends, is the climax of our story. Let's see how it unfolds...

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