Monday, December 22, 2014

The Man Who Hated Christmas

Many families have traditions they carry out at Christmas, mine included. One involves reading scriptures, singing carols, and reading Christmas stories nightly for the twenty four eves leading up to the day we celebrate the Savior's birth.

One of my favorite stories is called "The Man Who Hated Christmas". 

Yes, that seems an odd choice at first given the season but let me explain. You see the man in the story doesn't hate the true meaning of Christmas, In fact, it's because of his high regard for the Christ child that he is saddened by the commercialism that has become associated with the holiday season. 

His wife is kind of like me, stumped for a really meaningful gift to give her husband for Christmas. Attending one of their son's wrestling match against an inner city team, he remarks how disheartened he is to see the poor boys without helmets or shoes.  

Inspiration strikes the wife and that year she foregoes getting him the usual sweater and tie and instead makes an anonymous donation of helmets and shoes to the inner city boys wrestling team. She places her gift on the tree in an envelope and on Christmas day her husband is delighted with his 'gift'.  So begins a tradition in their family.

As I rushed about stores this morning, mainly grocery shopping, I constantly held back tears, feeling overwhelmed with all I still have to do to be ready to celebrate Christmas. The shopping is done, the wrapping is begun, and all I really have left is to make and deliver treats for the neighbors. Most of my current to do list is unassociated with Christmas at this point. 

So, why the Christmas blues? 

The dread of disappointment of others. 

I'm not one who shows her love by gift giving. What if those I love and care about are unhappy with their presents? What if they are the types that receive love through gifts? How can I ever measure up? My intentions are good, but my execution is lacking. 

Honestly, I'd like to be like the man in the story. Skip my presents and do some good in the world and let me do the same for you. Wouldn't that fit in more with what the Savior taught? What he came here to do? Why we celebrate his birth?  

So, next year, make a charitable donation, put a pair of cozy socks and a bag of peppermint bark in my stocking, and I'd call that a good Christmas. 

What would you do to make your Christmas more Christlike? 

No comments:

Post a Comment