Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Happy Holidays... Where's the Happy?

Does This Look Like You?

Christmas To-Do List:
* Toys for nephews
* Dolls for nieces
* Golf clubs for dad
* Elegant procelain for mom
* Jewelry for wife
* Electronics for husband
* Toys for your kids
* Office Secret Santa
* Gifts for friends
* Holiday parties
* Family gatherings
* In-laws
* Then Christmas Day...

Long, Stressful, Busy hours at the mall.  Crazy crowds at Wal-Mart. Chaos at Target.  Racking up the credit card.  Emptying out your savings account.

Does any of this look familiar?  Can you feel the blood pressure rising in your head?  If this is the kind of days you are having during this Holiday Season, no wonder there isn't any time for happiness.  You look forward to time off from work to celebrate Christmas.  But you find yourself spending hours upon hours shopping and standing in long lines at department stores.

Have you ever hit that proverbial wall and said, "This is just too much!  This is killing me emotionally and financially.  I can't keep up with all the demands of Christmas."

Then STOP!  Stop and really think about what Christmas looked like in tradition past.  One gift for each family member... not a dozen toys for your kids.  During years past, families would secretly make special gifts with their hands from only material around their home.  Gift giving was special because it took time, talent and hours putting together something special for each other.

Is THIS Real Christmas?  Can you imagine waking up Christmas morning to a hot cup of coffee.  Exchanging one gift with each other.  Being so appreciative of what you received because you knew the giver spent months thinking about you and made something special with their very own, loving hands.  Then, enjoying the rest of your empty schedule by being together as a FAMILY!    

No $1,500 credit card debt.  No stress of shopping at 10 different department stores to find the exact requests of your kids and spouse.  Just a simple, honest, relaxing time together as a family.

I truly believe the marketing giants in their nice, taylored suits want the rest of us to think that if we don't keep up with the latest game console, the most expensive jewelry, and the nicest clothes, then we are inadequate.  What a load of crap we've been buying into every year, for generations.

I believe the Evil One is also doing a great job in causing chaos and stress in our lives- keeping our minds off the one true reason for Christmas.  The serene, peaceful, humble thought that God loved us so much He sent His only Son to this earth to rescue us from our disaster.  To rebuild the relationship He desperately wanted the day He created us. 

The Prince of Peace had entered this world to save us.  We have allowed all the other frivolous stuff get in the middle of us and Him.  Clouding our minds into thinking that we NEED to keep up with the demands.  We NEED to spend big bucks on fleeting things.  We NEED to stay on top of everyone else's gift giving out of obligation, not out of love.

What we need in our nation, in our personal lives, is a Holiday Detox.  We need to re-think and re-do what we've been doing for decades.  We need to say, NO! to the marketing giants and to the voice in our heads who says,  "You are a failure if you don't satisfy the money eating, stress producing monster."

Our nation uses words like, "Happy Holidays".  "Peace on Earth and Good Will to All Men."  "Merry Christmas."  We say it.  Maybe it's time we start believing the words that mindlessly and easily flows from our lips.  Let the very words you use make your holidays healthy again.  Happy. Peace. Good Will. Merry. 

Appreciate the truth that Jesus came to this Earth to give us Peace and Hope.  I truly pray that your Holiday Detox is a success.  :) 

I pray that you will find ways to make Christmas meaningful again.
Here is a past blog post on "The Purpose of Christmas".  Meaningful and simple ways to start the Holiday Detox in your lives:  http://heartlikejesus.blogspot.com/2008/12/purpose-of-christmas.html

May you find Peace and Happiness through Jesus Christ this year!


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1 comment:

JW said...

Thanks for the reminder, bud! It certainly can be stressful. I know I often put more pressure on myself than necessary. This Christmas will be very different from me, my first not with my family :( But I will try to focus on the joy of bonding with my wife's family. And being in Florida will help :) God bless you and the fam on what I hope for you all will be a very Merry Christmas!!!