and joy.



I've heard it said very much lately that Christmas has become "too commercial", and too put apart from its true meaning, and that perhaps we would all be better off if we simply shunned all the glitz and splendor that the month of December seems to serenade every year.

Maybe if we ignored all this said "commercialism" we would somehow stand out from the Christmas crowd, and blatantly display our annoyance with how the rest of the world explodes into festivity for the season. 

Really it all comes down to this - if all this commercialism isn't celebrating the true meaning of Christmas - the birth of Jesus - then it isn't right. Isn't that the conclusion that people seem to draw? If it doesn't have anything to do with Jesus, then it just shouldn't be involved in "His" holiday?

The thing is this, though. Any celebration - be it labeled "Christian" or not - is some kind of uncontrollable powerhouse of joy that the possessor just can't contain within their person, so they have to let it out somehow - be it with a scream or a song or a truckload of glitzy presents under a tree.

Let's take the angels for instance. The angels at Jesus' birth. 

It was like when the space between God and earth was crushed, it ignited this profound joy in everyone's hearts - and the angels started screaming for joy to make everyone realize that something big just happened.

How I see it, is that there is this deep-rooted, uncontrollable joy that is lying dormant in everybody's hearts - and the notion of Christmas somehow starts to awaken that joy, feeding it, watering it, nurturing it, until we find ourselves singing and dancing and baking and giving and decorating and sending e-cards and putting trees in our houses and making them things of beauty.

We all have the joy of Jesus stitched somewhere deep down in our hearts - whether it be visible or not. 

When I look at the world and how everyone reacts to Christmas? I don't see commercialism. Not in the least. 

I see people who have discovered this well of joy deep down inside themselves that deserves to see the light of day. It deserves to be brought out and shown to the rest of the world. 

What if Jesus wants this inward joy - however massive or minuscule it may be - explode all over everyone and everything that comes within close proximity of its carrier?

What if Jesus actually wanted this? Just think about it for a moment, if the scandal of this notion doesn't scare you too bad.

What if Jesus wants you to string up trees with lights?
And decorate your houses?
And bake cookies and pies?
And invite friends and family over and make home videos on your iPhone?
What if Jesus wants you to go shopping and spend money on stuff that nobody really needs?
And go all-out on sparkly paper and ribbons and bows?
What if Jesus wants stores to throw sales for the occasion and blast annoying Christmas songs that everybody used to like before they had to listen to them a million times?
What if Jesus wants you to blow up giant cheesy inflatables and put them out in your yards?

A know a lot of people who would look at everything I just said and tell me that "if it doesn't bring glory to Jesus, then no - he doesn't want you to do it." 

But what if all these things really do bring glory to Jesus in some faint, but ever-present way?

I say, embrace that commercialism, bright and blinding and festive and loud and happy thing that it is. Because behind every pinch of Christmas is that joy.
The joy that got you baking cookies and singing and dancing to mainstream holiday songs while you did it? That same joy is what the angels had to let out in screams and anthems of ecstasy at the birth of Christ.

If "commercialism" is what keeps Christmas alive, then I say let this "commercialism" of Christmas continue forever more. 

Because as long as Christmas continues, no matter how distant to drags away from Jesus, there will always be someone to ask the innocent question: Who or what got all this started?
Was it Macy's trying to come up with an excuse to throw a huge blowout sale? 
Or was it something bigger than that? 
Something better?
Something more intricately connected to me and the rest of humanity than anyone could've ever dreamed of?
Something beautiful?
Something like God himself - the creator of stars and kisses and dreams and breath and love and everyone on planet earth - this God becoming a fetus in a young woman's body.
Becoming one of us. 
And touching us for the first time.
Embracing us. 
Holding us close. 
Kissing us like he waited for so long to do. 

And telling us that everything is going to be okay. 

Maybe that's what Christmas is all about.
Something like that.


2 comments

kind words are like raindrops on the desert. they make me bloom with happiness, as absolutely cliche and cheesy as that sounds. even if it's just a simple alt+3 i will heart you for it. so, go ahead! MAKE MY DAY. literally.