I put my Christmas tree up the day after Thanksgiving every year because the Christmas season feels much too short for me. In my opinion, there’s simply not enough time to enjoy the season. Or maybe there’s enough time and I’m rushing through it.
Sometimes we need a simple reminder like the signs we see everywhere, Jesus is the Reason for the Season. We’re so busy with shopping and holiday preparations, we’re more like Martha than Mary, unable or unwilling to focus on the most important thing—the one thing—because there’s too much to do.
Living in the country, I don’t often spend a lot of time fighting traffic or crowded malls. But I’m just coming off a weekend of shopping in Dallas and still have those images fresh in my mind—images that will last in this country girl‘s mind well into 2012.
You’ve heard the joke, why is it called rush hour when the cars are moving so slowly? There’s nothing like rush hour during the holidays.
The Saturday before Christmas can especially be dubbed Rush Saturday. This previous Saturday I visited a mall in Frisco, Texas to get a few last minute gifts for the Christmas party we were to have with my husband’s family that evening. Never in my life have I seen such a crowded, busy mall, even during past holidays. Getting a parking spot proved to be a miracle.
Keeping up with my family was also a challenge. The crowd shifted and moved around me, blocking my path so at one point I was completely separated and lost my husband and sister-in-law who, thank goodness, had two of my four children with them.
I was part of the throng in my frantic search for the right gift. In the Apple Store there was no such thing as a personal space bubble. But we all worked together like a team, adjusting positions as needed to peruse the offerings.
After I’d purchased everything on my list, I joined my family and we fought our way out. The experience was exhausting, and maybe that’s why I had a crazy thought. What if the wise men had to shop in an overcrowded mall in search of the gifts they would give to the one who was born the King of the Jews?
During the Christmas season, we give gifts because it’s better to give than to receive, and because giving a gift to someone is like giving a gift to Christ. The list of reasons goes on. But we can’t lose sight of what Christ wants from us. A Christmas card I received from a friend says it best:
The first wise men gave Christ treasures from their kingdoms. Today’s wise men give Christ the treasures of their hearts. — Holley Gerth