The holidays are quickly approaching, and I am excited!
I love the Christmas season. The crisp, late fall air is so refreshing, and Christmas music makes me happy, plain and simple. My church has already started rehearsals for our Christmas cantata (a contemporary cantata full of Christmas carols, not a Bach cantata), and it’s so much fun! I love the hope and joy that is embedded into music at this time of year. Perhaps that’s why I so enjoy listening to Christmas music all year long.
Because the majority of items in my shop right now are Christmas gifts, the approaching holidays mean for me a busy time of crafting and creating and designing as quickly as possible. I have lots of orders to fill (a good problem, I would say) and lots of ornaments to create, so every spare moment is being spent in my studio, with my husband and our birds close by.
Christmas also means the giving of Christmas gifts, something about which I am often of two minds. I love searching for and finding perfect gifts for those closest to me, gifts that will make them smile or laugh or get “warm fuzzies.” The pursuit of an item that is perfectly suited to the recipient is fun, and I love the thought that my gift will be treasured for years to come.
Yet our culture so over-commercializes Christmas that the meaning – the celebration of Christ’s birth and the incredible gift contained in that birth – is frequently lost, and with it, the joy of giving is lost as well.
Last night I saw my first television ad for Black Friday. (I’m sure they’ve been on for weeks now …. that tells you how much TV I watch: almost none.) The store in this particular ad is opening at 4 AM next Friday. I’m sure they’re offering great bargains for those who get there that early, and I am certainly not one to knock bargain-hunting. But the overwhelming commercialism represented by that sort of gimmick is disheartening. When Christmas becomes about getting all you can get rather than giving and sharing with those you love, the season loses everything I love about it, namely hope and joy.
So this Christmas, may your home be filled with the joy of giving, rather than the greed of getting. And may your Christmas shopping be filled with the thrill of searching for the perfect gifts, rather than with the stress and pressure of our commercial culture.