Thursday, December 16, 2010

Tired of Christmas - It ain't surprising

One of the things that happens this time of year, or at least in the next 10 days, is that it seems as though most people get tired of Christmas. Most of us have heard the old, familiar tunes a few times (at least if we have done our shopping - if not, be prepared to hear them all when you hit the mall), and we've seen the lights, the decorations, the sales for quite a few weeks now. In fact, by the time next week rolls around, and the pretty songs are sung on Christmas Eve, and the presents are opened, and the Christmas dinner is eaten, and the day-after Christmas returns and discounts are accounted for,the gift cards consumed in post-holiday shopping bliss (perhaps this is the chief holiday, in reality)... most people will be done with Christmas.

This shouldn't be surprising. What have we turned Christmas into but a season of the belly? The belly gets full, and then it wants other treats. We'll be looking towards New Years' parties (i.e. booze) and then to Valentine's Day (i.e. Chocolate) soon enough. What have we turned Christmas into but a season of shopping and gifts? Well, once they are opened, what's the point? Once there are no more presents under there, might as well take down the tree. The pleasures of the world never last, and we've turned Christmas into a season of the pleasures of the world.

Of course, even the fact that Christmas has become so commercialized isn't surprising. What were you expecting? That it would stay focused on Christ? I know there is this romantic idea that for a while, in the good old days, Christmas was just Christmas - and it was about Jesus. That the Coca-Cola Satan and Dicken's Carol were exceptions and that Linus reading Luke 2 was the rule (I'm dubious, but for the sake of argument, I'll concede). We will lament that Christmas has gotten so much less about Christ.

Here's the thing - why should we be surprised that people make Christmas less and less about Christ, when the rest of the year they ignore Christ Jesus come down from earth to be with them? When people in general despise the preaching of the Word should the collapse of Christmas be surprising? When people have no more interest in Christ Jesus coming to them in Bread and Wine in His Supper, should we be surprised that they don't really care that much about Him coming and being laid in a manger?

We as a culture are tired of Christmas - and it shows every Sunday when Christ comes to be among us in His Church, and so many people could care less.

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