Confession Time: I've already had some Grinch-y moments this year. :*( The first time was when I saw the countdown to Christmas sign at the "Big W" store --before October 1st. Who needs the pressure to start shopping, decorating, cooking.....that early!!!? [Sorry. Moment of remembered panic here.] What I meant to ask is- why can't we just take it a day at a time? What about all the important celebrations we can have before all the shopping, decorating, cooking!!!!?
Besides all the health-related awareness observances...did the "Big W" store marketers pause to consider that October is Auto Battery Safety Month? And Pickled Pepper Month? And Dinosaur Month? And we just can't forget: Sarcastic Awareness Month! Then there's the weekly observances: First week of October is Get Organized Week, and World Space Week, and Breastfeeding Week? Did they even bother to put out the Teller Appreciation Week cards for the second week of October? Now that is really a big Pet Peeve of mine (observed, interestingly enough the same week as the Teller Appreciation)! Even if we fast forward through the rest of October (and skip remembering Wolf Awareness Week and National Radon Week), we still have November's observances to get through...
Which is, as we all know, Apple Month (oops...did I just do a flashback to Sarcastic Awareness Week?). In the rush to shove Christmas sales down our throats, the stores don't even acknowledge important birthdays (like Rutherford B. Hayes-Oct. 4; Evil Knievel-Oct. 17; Lyle Lovett-Nov. 1; & Harpo Marx-Nov. 23).
Of course, in the race to sell us some "holiday" spirit, they completely forget to display gifts for Hi Neighbor Month (December)...focusing instead on flashy, tinsel-filled displays of toys, jewelry, and way-too-rich foods. Instead of commemorating Ice Cream and Violins Day (Dec. 13), they incessantly blare out announcements of ONLY 15 SHOPPING DAYS LEFT! Like shopping doesn't happen December 26--Hello!!! After Christmas Sales!! (Just like Black Friday, only sadder with broken toys and returned ugly sweaters on the shelves.)
There is always something or someone demanding our attention and our celebration and our money. Greeting card companies and toy companies and political action committees and non-profits call and ring bells and hammer and pound to get one more dime (read spend, spend, buy, buy here) out of us. And I get so tired of trying to make everyone happy and fill everyone's wishes...sometimes I just wanna hide away from the entire season.
Wait! Before you start humming the tune to "You're A Mean One, Mrs. Grinch," and wondering why you even clicked on this blog post... I assure you I really am more Cindy Lou Who than Grinch---once I changed my focus from the rush to the creche.
"Rejoice, favored woman! The Lord is with you...Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. Now listen: you will conceive and give birth to a son, and you will call His name JESUS. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David. His will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and His kingdom will have no end." --Luke 1:28, 30-33Remembering the coming Savior has been the best thing I've done for my family and myself. It took getting outside the commercialization of Christmas and regaining the spirit of awe that Mary felt when the angel spoke to her and promised this Son to resize my heart (previously 2 sizes too small--oh, no...that was the Grinch). After all, the promise to birth the Son of God was given to Mary, while the promise to bear the Son of God was given to all believers. Have you celebrated this promise and shared this gift yet?
Our family makes the time to revisit the story throughout the whole Advent season. When we were deciding this year what Scripture to start with, our 3-year-old grandson popped up, in his sweet little lisp, with, "We need to start with Jesus!"
That's what it's all about, dear friends. And I wonder how relaxed and special the season would be if instead of Grinching-out when I first see the countdown signs...if I just "start with Jesus?"
They hurried off and found both Mary and Joseph, and the baby who was lying in a manger. After seeing them, they reported the message they were told about this Child, and all who heard it were amazed. -Luke 2:16-18