December 12, 2007

Merry Christmas!!

Click here for a very special message from the Chan family:

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Just a little Christmas giggle for your day.

Our wonderful friend,Deji, wrote the perfect blog posting, so I'd like to share:

Christmas was meant to change the world

So this is what Christmas has become - a deluge of "Holiday" catalogs & special offer e-mails. Every year it seems to kick into a new gear of marketing and solicitations to come spend, come buy, send gifts, receive gifts, show how special you think the other person is by outdoing their own efforts to get stuff for you. I will admit - I am guilty. There is a certain pleasure to it. I think even an amount of narcissism. That part of the drive to get those gifts and find just that special one that will put that look on the face of the child, spouse, parent, sibling, friend, significant other ... etc is ultimately about me. That I will have been the one who got just that special gift that put that look there - and I can smile and bask in the pleasure of having done that. It does feel good doesn't it? At least for just that moment.

Then there's the part that is just about me. Just about getting that gizmo that I've been putting off getting all year and now it is Christmas and you know what, I think I deserve to get a something that I really want. Right? :-) You don't know how convicting it is to write this. The B&H Photo store catalog arrived in the mail a couple of days ago and so did the gift guide edition of Wired magazine.

So what is the problem? Well, the question is - Is this what Christmas is really about? It is supposed to be a birthday celebration but who is getting the gifts?

"'... For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.' ... 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.'" - Matt 25:35-36, 40

What if we made Christmas about giving gifts to the celebrant instead of the guests? What would that look like?

"Christmas was meant to change the world"

"Advent Conspiracy is an international movement restoring the scandal of Christmas by worshipping Jesus through compassion, not consumption."

It is a bit of a change of focus isn't it? That the truth of Christmas is not about having stores say "Merry Christmas" instead of "Happy Holidays". That it is not about the stores at all. It is about giving life, restoring hope, easing pain, sharing grace, bringing peace.

I will probably still buy some gifts, but I might also make some or make the gifts themselves more meaningful and I will find a way to give life and share grace with people I don't know and whose faces I may never see, realizing that this particular gift is not about me and is definitely not about any recognition for it. That maybe through all of this I might realize that whatever it was that I was able to do did not come from me but only passed through me.

I hope you enjoyed his post as much as I did. Thanks for the inspiration, Deji! Merry Christmas everyone . . .
to God be the glory.


DorT said...

Inspiring! And the photos illustrate what Christmas is about, giving thanks for the blessings you have received with the people you love, radiating the love and happiness that stems from and IS our Lord.

Deji said...

Wow ... William is quite the Elf! Who knew?? :-D

Thanks for sharing my blog post.

DorT said...

P/S Really enjoyed the Elf thing. Also think that William has missed his true vocation - it is not too late!!!

Della said...

Love the pics and the Advent Conspiracy video and blog. thanks so much for sharing. I need to get on track of God's plan for Christmas!