“And the Word became flesh and lived among us, and we have seen his glory, the glory of a father’s son, full of grace and truth.”
|John 1.14, NRSV
“We are called to prove in our own lives that Christ is born, that God is with us. But we are constantly in danger of going about our business without Christ. We keep to our old ways of life and do not allow God to enter our daily affairs. …We should never rest until all obstacles are cleared out of the way for him who is born to us, and who is to come.”
| Johann Christoph Blumhardt, When the Time Was Fulfilled
I am tired of shopping, window shopping included. I don’t even want to see anyone shopping, hear a cash register or stand in another line that goes down aisles or wraps around corners. Yesterday, all I wanted for Christmas was a half- gallon of milk—not a little more eggnog or a few more candy canes. As I am a woman, this may be hard to hear or even comprehend. If you need to take a seat, I will understand.
To be sure, I love shopping—just not Christmas shopping. I have questioned the practice since I was a pre- teen and challenged the lies that go along with it. Ask my siblings. I told them that there was no Santa Claus. I woke them up to prove that it was our parents who were putting the bicycles under the tree, that it was our dad who was eating the cookies that we had left out. Why lie about it?
Our parents told us that Christmas was about the birth of Jesus and then signed us up for pictures with Santa at 1 p.m. at the mall. I refused this holiday photo shoot as soon as I was old enough to. Sitting on some strange man’s lap who promised to give me whatever I wanted if I was a good girl is problematic on several levels for me. And I don’t care which of his lists this confession places me on.
I just didn’t buy it back then or now. Over and over again, I heard from my friends that it just didn’t feel like Christmas. By Christmas Eve, the mood had not changed. When we talked about it, we all said the same thing. We don’t want anything. Better still, we didn’t need anything.
We were all tired of consuming and didn’t have room for another present. For me, it felt like the message of Christ was being swallowed up. Now, I am not talking about or adding to the “war on Christmas” debate regarding whether or not persons are allowed to say, “Merry Christmas” in America. (You are.) However, when I said, “Merry Christmas” to a Christian, he seemingly corrected me with his response, “Blessed Christmas!” I give up as that is not my cause or my fight.
I just wanted to feel more of Christ, closer to him not unlike a mother and her newborn baby. God made flesh, this Christmas, I wanted to be in the room with him. I wanted it all to feel new and exciting. I wanted to be up all night with him, to hear his cries and him snoring at last. But, I didn’t.
I know that he has been born, that God is with us in Christ Jesus. But, with all this talk of online deals, free gift- wrapping services and same- day delivery, presents and more presents, meal prep and going from house to house so that no one is offended by our absence, how he could be lost in it all was as clear as day.