I have a confession to make: I do not like the Christmas season.
I hate shopping for presents, because I never know what to buy people. I get tired of hearing the same old carols every year. Surely, someone, somewhere, must have the ability to write a new song. Most Christmas movies are so corny that I cannot stand them.
Taking holidays in December is a waste as it is usually so cold outside that you end up being stuck inside doing nothing for days on end. It seems silly to put all the decorations up just to take them down again a month later.
All of this and more means that I have started more family fights over the Christmas holidays than at any other time of the year. In the past, I was often less like Santa and more like the Grinch.
This year, however, I have started to notice a change. I enjoyed putting up the Christmas tree. I have some good ideas for Christmas presents. I even caught myself singing Christmas songs.
I still hate the sappy movies, but I am really looking forward to the rest of the celebration this year.
What has changed?
The biggest difference is that I am realizing that time is ticking. The past several years brought a lot of changes to my life. Through moving or death, I have had to say goodbye to lots of people that I have looked up to and loved. Others around me have been through sickness or separations of their own.
Sara and I are now empty nesters. I am more aware of the fact that I better enjoy what is happening today, because things will not always be the way they are now.
My focus has shifted. I have less time for complaining and complainers. I am not interested in comparing and competing with others about who has more stuff. I think more about just being with people.
In other words, maybe, just maybe, I am growing up.
The Living Bible translates Ephesians 4:2 by saying, “Be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other’s faults because of your love.”
If we followed that advice, we would be in a better position to really enjoy the true spirit and joy of the Christmas season.