Monday, December 22, 2014

She's a Mean One, Mrs. Grinch

I was reminded today by someone who has been counting that it is Christmas Eve Eve Eve.

And tomorrow is Christmas Eve Eve.

And Wednesday is CHRISTMAS EVE. (This can only be expressed in all caps, as the excitement level exceeds what I can adequately convey on these pages.)

As if I could forget that it is Christmas week. I'm getting roughly thirty emails a day reminding me that I don't have much time to order before Christmas.

Which is what I hate about Christmas. It is actually one of the least enjoyable holidays for me. (Go ahead, gasp your complete and utter {surprise, shock, horror} that a girl like me could dislike Christmas. But you're so ________, they say. I can't believe you'd say that, they say. I've heard it all. Let's go back and analyze just a sec. I am the least sentimental person I know. I don't like feeling rushed or stressed. I don't like commercialized crapola. I don't like Christmas. Sorry.)

I don't like the fact that this is the only time of year that is touted as the best. Or the most wonderful. Or the time that means so much. Because March is pretty awesome, too. So is August.

Don't expect me to fall for that, Hallmark.

I don't like marketers pulling on my emotional heartstrings so I'll spend more money on things I don't need to buy so that retailers can say that their numbers were up this year. I don't like the rush, the hurry, the stress, the moving of the elf, the never-ending sugar rush, the I-must-find-a-gift-even-though-I-have-no-idea-so-I-won't-be-lame-or-thoughtless. I don't like that we skip Thanksgiving just so we can listen to Christmas music for two months straight.

I was listening to an XM station the other day, and the DJ came on with "Blah, blah station, where we don't play Christmas music." And I silently said a thank you, because when you're not in love with Christmas, you're not in love with the revolving tracks of Christmas music, either.

Other people love Christmas. I get that. My husband and I were wrapping gifts (did you just ask if I like wrapping gifts?) and I started in with my "we must start fazing out this large gift-giving extravaganza" spiel when he looked at me with that look and asked me to just let him enjoy this. Ooops. I let my Grinch-like ways spill out onto what should have been fun.

I feel like I'm painting an ugly picture of myself. So let me set you straight.

I love finding gifts when I think the person I'm giving them to will squeal with excitement and joy over something they really wanted.

I love singing traditional Christmas hymns in church. And I loved the cello/piano duet during the offering this past Sunday morning. It. Was. AMAZING.

I love spending special time with family.

I'm a model, you know what I mean, as I do my little turn on the catwalk...yeah, I know. I pose. I can't help it.

I love the excitement I see on my kids faces when they announce that it is Christmas Eve Eve Eve. And I love seeing them carefully pick out just the right gift for just the right person. (Until they get distracted by all the things they want to buy for themselves, because then it becomes a matter of me picking out a present for them to give to someone else, and I'm all like do you like this for so-and-so? how about this? would you like to go here? or there? or anywhere?, and then we're just done.)

But here's what I love the most...

I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. 
Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; 
he is the Messiah, the Lord.
{luke 2:11}

Have we forgotten the one event--the main event--the reason we can even mark December 25 on our calendars? The one that causes great joy among us? It isn't the gifts or the carols. It's that God sent his only son to live among us, so we could be saved.

I'm a Grinch, I'm a Scrooge, I'm a stoic non-believer of the over-commercialized holiday called Christmas.

But I'll never lose the joy that comes from the reason I celebrate.

Emmanuel. God with us.

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