Confessions of a Mad Fat Pastor’s Wife..
Ok.. Listen. I have another confession.
I hate Christmas shopping. Hate it.
But the insanely odd thing here? I looooooove giving gifts.
If I am in your presence, and you mention something you really love, or really want…I will file that piece of info away to purchase for you at a later time. If I can. I consider knowing my close friends Starbucks order of utmost importance. Because what is a better gift than your favorite Starbucks you didn’t have to pay for?
Fibromyalgia plays some part in my shopping hatred. I have a limited life on my energy levels, and once it is gone.. it’s gone. Ask anyone who suffers from FMS, and they will tell you the same.
But…the Lord blessed me with Amazon Prime this season. He is to be thanked for that invention.
And Starbucks. We can’t forget to thank Him for that. In fact, if you combine Amazon Prime, and Starbucks.. your brain may just implode from the goodness.
Mine almost did.
In the winter of 2005, our kiddos were 6 and 3, and we had just moved to the state of Washington for a new job. We had the exact same amount of money for our kids, as we did for the Angel Tree kids our family picked out. $25. I vividly recall walking through Target and the Dollar Tree, in a state of severe panic, with my 3 year old in tow, trying to figure out how to make the money stretch.
Do my kids remember what they got that year? Nope.
Do I? Nope.
Were they happy? I have a video of them decorating cookies (also known as graham crackers) that proves they were.
My little Miss H, at 3, with a head full of curly golden fluffiness that we called hair, declaring the cookies were delicious, delicious, delicious. And with such a lisp that delicious sounded like de-liss-suss.
There is not much cuter than a curly haired 3 year old with a lisp.
Unless you add in the baggy jean-ed, wide eyed 6 year old who couldn’t say his “R’s”.
The little snippet of video we have of them makes me sob every time. My teenagers watch me out of the corner of their eyes, and laugh when we watch it. It’s a mixture of “my parents are weird, but it’s cool how they love me?”
At least I hope that’s what it is. 😉
And they don’t understand how I wish I could do it over, and snuggle into freshly bathed necks and cheeks, and sing more, and take hours and hours more video footage, and go back to when Christmas was as simple as decorating graham crackers and calling them cookies, and getting gifts from the Dollar Tree. And how I can see their toddler faces in the reflection of their young adult faces sometimes. And how WONDER was easy for them to grasp.
I think I really hate Christmas shopping because that is not what we are supposed to be focused on. Don’t get me wrong.. remember, gift giving and I are TIGHT, yo. I think Christmas is a great time to give gifts. We just need to remember culture has a way of warping what God intended.
So, give gifts, if you can afford it. Make gifts, if you can. Don’t beat yourself up, if certain years are harder than others. And don’t justify overspending because you think that is what is important.
I didn’t get into the stores too much this season. But, I had a few things to do this morning, and I saw some people who had forgotten the WONDER. Impatient honking. Cussing over a poor parking job. People running to be the next in line. Full parking lots with stressed out people, spending money they didn’t have on people they didn’t like.
Don’t buy into the lie that Christmas was ever meant to be about that. If the enemy can distract you from the real WONDER, he has done his job.
With that said…
To the grumpy elderly man that glared at me and said some ugly words at Costco this morning.. I hope you still have family you can celebrate with, and you are shown how loved you are.
To the young family begging for money at the Wendy’s parking lot this morning.. I hope the cash we had on hand helped, and you are shown how loved you are.
To the mom, who isn’t a single mom, but sometimes feels like she is, who is also very stressed about Christmas for her kids.. they don’t care. They won’t remember as much as you think they will. Buy some graham crackers, and cheap frosting, and bring back the WONDER. And I hope you are shown how loved you are.
To all the employees grinning and bearing it to the frantic, hurting people, who aren’t very nice.. I hope you get to relax with your friends, and family, and you are shown how loved you are.
To a world that just doesn’t understand how far we’ve come from the simplicity of the shepherd’s awe, Mary’s wonder, Joseph’s courage, the wise men’s wisdom, I hope you know that Christmas is about Jesus.
And Jesus is about showing you how loved you really are.
Fight for the WONDER. It is worth it.