There is a Christmas feeling. I feel it periodically throughout December and while knowing everyone SAYS they get into the "Christmas Spirit," I often wonder if the nature of what is going on within them is similar to what is going on in me. I suspect it is, with possible slight variations.
I don't feel it today, though. Today I just feel like I have to go feed the Commercial Christmas Machine. I say, just like you probably say, that I hate the commercial aspects of Christmas. Yet my job insists that I always be cognizant of how many hundreds of thousands of dollars I have to bring in this week. (Around one.)
The good thing is that my meager income makes it easier for me to opt out of the game that is Christmas. I'm not poor in the broad sense of the word, but purchasing gifts for more than a handful of people is just not possible.
Which makes me wonder why we focus on the "less fortunate" this time of the year. We hear the Christmas Spirit is about giving. I believe this to be true because a stable and a manger and a cruel cross and an empty tomb tell me so. But maybe it is more than this. Maybe the reason people give to the Salvation Army and serve in soup kitchens and think about the poor more this time of year is to actually get closer to a way of life we secretly envy. We think about how bad it would be to be in a situation where you can't buy gifts for your family. But isn't there something appealing about this as well?
For me, this Christmas feeling is about the magical word "with." Immanuel- God is "With Us" translates into the greatest story ever, and spurs us to be with each other as well. As I said in one of my Christmas posts last year, let know one fool you-- Christmas really is all about presence.