Friday, December 2, 2016

Stop Saying "This is What Christmas Is All About" ...unless it is

I've got a seasonal gripe. It might make me sound Grinchy, but I can't help it. 

I keep seeing Facebook posts with a dubious claim. Sometimes it is a touching story of generosity, sometimes a pretty song. Or maybe it is just a beautiful holiday scene. Whatever it is, it starts or ends with:

This is what Christmas is all about!

Sorry. No, it isn't.

It is all over TV this time of year. I watch way too many Hallmark movies, as I said before. And the main characters of these sappy holiday TV-movies are constantly coming to the brilliant realization that baking cookies with kids is what Christmas is all about. Or that old fashioned decorations is what its all about. Or having coffee with your estranged mother, brother, father, boyfriend. Sometimes it is working with the poor, or gathering with the community to save an historical building, or saving a dog from...whatever. 

Now, I am not personally against baking cookies (proof is in my freezer), nor am I against having coffee with anyone, estranged or not. And, of course, I am not against caring for the poor, or saving historical buildings. And I like dogs. Really, I do. Don't own one, but, you know, dogs are fine pets. I don't want anyone to think I am anti-dog.

However....none of these things are "what Christmas is all about". 

So now, forget all those other TV characters and listen to Linus. 



Actually, I think there is another TV star who said it even better. Venerable Fulton J Sheen tells us what Christmas is all about in his book Life of Christ

No worldly mind would ever have suspected 
THAT HE WHO COULD MAKE THE SUN WARM THE EARTH
would one day have need of an ox and an ass to warm Him with their breath; 
THAT HE WHO, IN THE LANGUAGE OF SCRIPTURES, COULD STOP THE TURNING ABOUT OF ARCTURUS 
would have His birthplace dictated by an imperial census; 
THAT HE, WHO CLOTHED THE FIELDS WITH GRASS,
would Himself be naked; 
THAT HE, FROM WHOSE HANDS CAME PLANETS AND WORLDS, 
would one day have tiny arms that were not long enough to touch the huge heads of the cattle;
THAT THE FEET WHICH TROD THE EVERLASTING HILLS
would one day be too weak to walk; 
THAT THE ETERNAL WORD WOULD BE DUMB; 
that Omnipotence would be wrapped in swaddling clothes; 
THAT SALVATION 
would lie in a manger; 
THAT THE BIRD WHICH BUILT THE NEST 
would be hatched therein—
no one would have ever suspected 
THAT GOD COMING TO THIS EARTH 
would ever be so helpless. 

And that is precisely why so many miss Him.
DIVINITY IS ALWAYS WHERE ONE LEAST EXPECTS TO FIND IT.

1 comment:

  1. I love this and agree whole heartedly. I love Christmas. My pet peeve is the: "It's the best Christmas ever.." statement. No pressure there! (And I'm sure the best was around 2016 years ago.)

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