A story called Christmas Every Day, by William Dean Howells, is about a selfish little girl who had an insatiable appetite for gifts, candy and all the hoopla that Christmas provides. She never wanted it to end. A fairy granted her wish to have Christmas every day, where she would awaken to blazing tree lights, gifts, and sweets to eat every morning for an entire year. After many, many Christmases she grew weary of it all. Presents were flung about and the very thought of holiday food brought indigestion. While this is a cute moral tale about greed and selfishness, it really misses the point. Howells’ story is all wrong.
That little girl needs an insatiable appetite for Christ, not Christmas. Isn’t He the reason for the season after all? Forgive me for that despicable cliche, which I hate.
Jesus Christ is a believer’s reason for living, for life itself.
We argue and debate about Christmas every year. To celebrate or not to celebrate. Pagan or Christian. Simple or extravagant. Let me throw one more debate at you. The problem is not that we celebrate Christmas, the problem is that we celebrate Christ only one day, one season. That’s ridiculous.
Is one season a year for Jesus Christ really stupid?
I think so.
It all started with my disappointment over waning traditions. My daughter and her family would not be coming on Christmas Day. We would have them for a few hours, 11am to 3pm exactly, on Christmas Eve instead. I was miserable. The tradition of recent years was Christmas day festivities with my daughter, son-in-law and granddaughter. We’d graze on appetizers, open gifts, then have a wonderful feast. What would I do this year? Christmas Eve brunch?
My world was shaken. This year was so different. Maybe for you, too. There may have been adult children who could not visit. Or adult children who did not even want to visit. Or call. Or speak to or see you ever at all. I started out with a joyful anticipation and with this sudden change of plans I lamented:
‘Why bother? I won’t make another cookie! Humbug.’
Traditions die. So many have over the years. I’ve tried to hold on to some of my mother’s traditions. She did so much more than me at Christmastime that, thinking back, I marvel at her energy for cooking and baking. I love when my daughter and daughters-in-law continue using the same recipes I’ve passed down to them.
For the true believer, this season (Christmas) will never end!
My heart jumped when I saw that posted by a Facebook friend. It validated my very thoughts I’d pondered and scribbled down for this blog post. Yes, yes, we have Christmas every day! We don’t need a fairy to grant our wishes, we have Christ, the Hope of glory, every moment. We have a Savior who gave us life. There should be no such thing as after-Christmas blues. Post holiday depression. No, never. That might be so for William Dean Howells’ selfish, shallow little girl. Her idols were temporal. Her god was her belly. The little girl’s Christmas was presents, cakes, sugar, parties, excess!
The world creates a season where Jesus is barely visible; where glitz, gimmes and inflated Santas rule and rock in the disappointingly snow-less wind. I want to bust all the inflatables and pop all the hot air of false doctrine. I want to replace glaring bulbs with True Light.
Some Christians make Christmas a ‘Happy Birthday, Jesus’ celebration, complete with the birthday cake and candles. Ugh. Let’s worship King Jesus and stop putting him back in the manger. Indeed Isaiah 9:6 says:
‘For unto us a child is born…’ but I’d rather focus on:
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
The little girl in Howells’ story felt a void after Christmas. Though filled with worldly junk and sweets, she was left wanting. What that little girl really wanted, what she really needed, is the joy of the Lord every day. She needs to bask in the joy of her salvation. If she was saved, of course.
That little girl is me. I need Him every day, every hour, every minute. I want Christ every day. And I have Him.