Christmas in July! Celebrations… NOT Lamentations

MERRY CHRISTMAS - BERLINER MAUER 1980

MERRY CHRISTMAS – BERLINER MAUER 1980 (Photo credit: m.joedicke)

For as long as I can remember, I have found myself among circles of friends during the Christmas season, lamenting over how far we have strayed from a faithful celebration of the birth of Christ.

Materialism.

Entitlement.

The embarrassing-to-admit but altogether too familiar art of one-upmanship.

Obligation.

Panic-induced shopping.

And a steady stream of post-holiday thank you’s in the form of credit card bills.

This past Christmas, after partaking in many such conversations, I decided to be proactive in creating a Christmas of celebration for my family and friends rather than once again defaulting to the culture’s best effort at mass-producing joy that can only, really, come from meeting the Christ child Himself.

What struck me about this past year’s laments is how easily we have played into the hand of the mainstream, and how loudly we protest after the fact. Some of us need to be reminded – I need to be reminded! – that becoming a victim of the business of Christmas is a choice.

So this year, I choose a different route to the manger!

One that honors tradition without bowing the knee to retail-bullying.

One that embraces fun and giving without breaking the bank.

One that engages more of me than just my schedule and my pocketbook.

One that celebrates Jesus at every turn – telling the story of redemption and God-With-Us instead of another tedious narrative about how hard it is to find a gift for so-and-so and how another stressful holiday gathering might just be what pushes us over the edge.

You can expect Christmas in July posts to be short and practical. Ideas and snippets intended to plant the seeds of intentional celebration in your head and on your to-do list now… while there is still time left to see it through.

I hope you will engage and share your ideas with us as well! Use the comment option to add your own inspiration and encouragement for the rest of us. Together we can make Christmas 2013 a faith-filled celebration of God’s creative Presence here with us!

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2 thoughts on “Christmas in July! Celebrations… NOT Lamentations

  1. Shortly after we got married in 1992 we helped start an alternative gift fair at church. We spent our Christmas money on others in need and still are 21 yrs. later. We chose to live a Christ centered simplistic life and feel we want for nothing. We just gave our church a new refrigerator in July and helped send 2 kids to retreat and paid for a nephew to go to a Kiwanis event in Vancouver. What great joy we feel for being able to help others. A Christ centered life gives you joy not want every day of the year.

    • Colleen!
      Your testimony here is a powerful proof that God WILL take care of the rest when we give/do our best to take care of others! Thank you for living such a life – and for giving us a glimpse of what the Gospel might look like when we, too, choose to give it all we’ve got!
      You’re an inspiration 🙂
      Brita

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