cur-mud-geon: anyone who hates hypocrisy and pretense and has the temerity to say so; anyone with the habit of pointing out unpleasant facts in an engaging and humorous manner
The days of December have begun to tick away and that brings about angst on the part of many people who are worried about sufficient money with which to buy gifts, and about what those gifts ought to be, and about how they’re going to get everything done in time and get their cards mailed in time and on and on and on.
The red kettles and those ringing the bells hoping for a small donation have been out and about for weeks now. Maybe one of those kettles will again yield a gold coin or some donation that astounds everyone. Yet, too many of us lose sight of the fact the red kettles are out is simply because there are still many, probably even more this year than last, who are truly in need of help. Help being defined as a roof over their heads. Help being defined as warm food and a secure place for their children. Help being defined as someone who will but take the time to visit with them a bit.
Those of us who believe in Christ know that we are celebrating His birth and yet we too, too often, fall into the hustle bustle trap of this time of year. We hurry about trying to find the perfect material gift for that special person, and wondering if we ought to pick up some small thing for the garbage man, or the newspaper delivery person, or our child’s teacher or that nice person next door who always is willing to help us when we are in need.
We will, by the time Christmas gets here, have shopped in all the stores and fretted about the absence of anything about the religious significance of the season. We will observe that “Christmas” has been eroded from its real meaning yet a bit further than had been the case just a year ago.
If we are fortunate enough, we finally will get to that day when we can really take a deep breath and settle down to relax and enjoy the reason for the season. We can listen to the music of the season. We can watch the Christmas specials and attend the special church services and maybe help a family in need with gifts and clothing items and some food for their enjoyment.
If we are fortunate, we will remember that Christmas is not about giving and receiving gifts other than for that one great gift given to each of us, if we will receive it, thousands of years ago. If we are unable to believe in and accept that gift, then this Christmas will be like most all have been; it will be about the presents under the tree and those will lose their allure after a day or two or a week or two, and we’ll be back to wondering what it was all about. Maybe this Christmas will have that truly special meaning for a few more people who reached that peace of knowing and believing in Christ.
That is my prayer for this hectic time of year.