By Pastor Jean Lockett
We have two more days before it will be Christmas. I’m asking myself, what happened to the Christmas spirit. I remember as a child which was only a few moons ago. By the time Thanksgiving was over people were out hanging their Christmas lights, children were building snowmen and making angels in the snow; while others were throwing snowballs. We would go sledding and others would be ice skating. There would be families that would be in competition of who had the best decorations on the block. Families would bring over cookies and cakes they had baked. At night you would come in and get a warm bath and put on your pajamas as you would look out at all the beautiful lights on the neighbors houses and the trees that were standing in their yards. I remember driving downtown Chicago to see the Christmas tree and all the beautiful lights that would be on the stores and the carolers would be out singing. You would hear the bells ringing and you knew that it was the Salvation Army out taking donations. No matter where you went you would here Christmas songs and couldn’t wait to go home and watch television because of all the Christmas movies that would come on. This was considered family time and everyone would sit and watch; while eating Christmas cookies and drinking hot chocolate or warm milk. We would sit around the table because everyone always ate together at dinnertime talking about what they wanted for Christmas. Many believed in Santa Clause while others were old enough to know that Santa Clause didn’t truly exist. On the weekends we would go to the mall to take pictures with Santa and point out all the many things we wanted and couldn’t get for Christmas. During the season of giving, even if you didn’t have a lot of money there was a lot of love that kept the Christmas spirit high. There were those times when you would smell what the neighbors were cooking because they would start early preparing for their Christmas meals.
Now it seems as if we don’t have snow for Christmas, you may see two or three houses on the block with lights and neighbors are not willing to say hello; never the less hang lights out together. Children are more focused on playing the games on their cell phone or television in their rooms; parents are chatting on Facebook or mad just because things aren’t going the way they want. Families are instant cooking or microwaving junk food and eating in their rooms. No one is making snowmen or angels in the snow because they say it’s too cold or theirs no snow to play in. What happened to the Christmas spirit? People are angry and sad because the season may remind them of a love one that may have passed on. There are those who are just finding it a sport to just drive up and kill someone. People are losing their jobs and some can’t find work. Government is claiming to be broke and many families are truly broke. There are those who may have a little or no money to make anything happen. This prevents them from hanging lights because they are afraid of the bill being so high. Families can’t by your children a gift because you won’t have enough for everyone. Many have to worry about someone breaking in your house to steal the things you have worked so hard for. There is so much happening until the one season many once looked forward to have become the one season many wish would never come. What will truly happen this year? Oh well, because it’s only two days away I guess not much at all. Is there anything that we can do to bring the sprit back? I would say yes!!!
This has always been the time to focus on Christ, many don’t believe, but for those who do; let’s keep in mind the reason for the season and be full of joy that we are alive because of his love for us. For those who don’t believe just keep this in mind. Life is what you make it. If you choose to be depressed; then depression will fall upon you. If you choose to be angry; then know matter what; something is going to happen to make you angry. I remember hearing Forest Gump say; “Life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you’re going to get”. I say “No matter what life throws your way it’s a choice of how we choose to receive it”.
What happened to the Christmas spirit; truly nothing. People have allowed society to strip them of their joy, peace and happiness. Just because they say we are broke and prices goes up we then react to their commands. If we stopped buying and demanded a decrease things wouldn’t be so high. We have to look at life as half full and half empty. Whatever it is that I choose out of life; whatever it is I want to gain out of life I have to believe it can happen. If I want to have my Christmas lights I can; I’ll just make sure I turn them off before I go to bed. If I want to be a part of the block club Christmas light competition then I’ll start a Christmas light fund in the beginning of the year that will help everyone with the extra cost during the year for usage of their lights. If I want to buy my children something for Christmas then I’ll start buying things early and instead of four gifts you may get one or two. If I want to play in the snow then the moment it snows I’ll go out and make that my Christmas moment of playing in the snow. If it never snows then I’ll reflect back on the time it did and tell stories about how it was when it snowed. If I wanted to decrease the crime rate, then the community has to take a stand and work together. See, you can even make a bad or sad situation great.
Merry Christmas To All and To All A Good Night.