It’s not that I don’t like the Christmas season, I’d rather focus on the Christmas reason, you know, the why we do all of this. I’ve had the Christmases that were perfect, with everyone unwrapping all that they asked for, the cooked-to-perfection meal for twenty, and the decorations that could make the spread in “Home and Gardens.” All of that takes lots of shopping and planning for what to buy, and it’s so stressful! And to be honest, I’m just not a big shopper. I know I stand in stark contrast to the many people who live for Black Friday and Cyber Monday. I don’t pore through on-line ads or those in the newspaper. My nickname could be “make do”, because I’m fine with last year’s styles (and in some cases, last decade’s styles), and I love repurposing things. My husband would tell you it takes me longer scraping the last of the contents from this bottle or that than it would to go out and buy a new one.
I’m probably an offense to every red-blooded American girl who shops for the sake of shopping. Forget window shopping; I’m more like a guy when I shop. As soon as I see what I need, I bag and tag it and move to the next store! I abhor clutter, whether it’s in my home, car or even on my computer. I’ve never collected knickknacks, though I think they’re really pretty in other people’s homes.
One thing I don’t mind having a lot of or spending time shopping for are pictures. Pictures on the wall, in albums, on blankets and pillows, and even on my coffee mugs! Pictures for myself and those I buy for others. I like pictures of all kinds, my kids in school, my family on vacation or enjoying the holidays or ones depicting our everyday lives. Pictures that show us happy, sad or melancholy. They help me remember what we were doing this time last year, five years ago, twenty years ago, or in the case of my parents’ pictures, a lifetime ago. When I look at pictures of me and my loved ones, it helps me to remember who I am and what’s important to me. They preserve our memories and remind us how grateful we are for one another.
I’ll make no excuses for not having the most brightly lit house on the street this year, because I’ll be reminiscing over pictures from Christmases past and remembering what’s really important to me. That brings me back to the real reason why we put so much focus on this day of the year. The day Jesus entered this world, nothing would be the same. It set into motion a plan that from the beginning made a way for us to be saved. Christ alone is the one who saves; this is nothing we can do for ourselves. John 3:16 says, “For God so loves the world, that whosoever believes in Him, should not perish but have everlasting life.”