This past Sunday we started our focus on Christmas and tried to stress the importance of giving instead of getting to our Sunday School class children. I told the students how we would be focusing on different characters in the Christmas story over the next few weeks. All I got back were blank stares that I read as, “I’m bored with the Christmas story and baby Jesus. I’ve heard it all before.” I wonder how one of the most transformational and earth shattering story of God incarnating himself became boring.
I was a pastor’s kid growing up so I was the worst at being bored with the Christmas story. I hated that my dad would read the Christmas story on Christmas morning before we could open the presents. All I could think about was what was under the tree. Tomorrow I am meeting with our Children’s Ministry staff and my big question is, “How do we regain the excitement and wonder that the shepherds, wise men and Mary had that first Christmas?”
What do you all think? How have we become bored with Christmas and lost the wonder and excitement that was present at the birth of Christ? How has this story lost the original earth shattering message of hope, joy and salvation? How do we help our children experience what it was like when Jesus was born?
Today we took the girls to the mall to ride the carousel and return something. If it wasn’t 70 degrees out, one would have thought it was almost Christmas. As we walked by the stores, our girls were pointing out all the Christmas decorations. Stores were already playing Christmas music.
I’m definitely not a Scrooge but I think it is sad that we quickly jump from Halloween to Christmas. Thanksgiving has just become a quick holiday focused on gorging ourselves for Black Friday. In our family we are trying hard to focus our girls on being thankful instead of whining or thinking about what they want for Christmas. We need Thanksgiving before Christmas. We need to remind ourselves what we are thankful for before we think about the consumerism of Christmas. It’s hard to do this when the retail culture has skipped Thanksgiving for the money maker holiday of Christmas.