Repeat after me: “I’m slowing down toward Christmas, I’m slowing down toward Christmas …”
The culture around us says otherwise. The “Rescue Christmas” folks want to liberate us from the evils of secularism and get those Christmas programs back into schools and the language of “Merry Christmas” with each transaction at the mall. What they don’t know or care is that Christmas – its real meaning – has been under assault for years by its commercialization. And the marketers won. Slow down. Give up frantic. Put your mind into each thing you choose to do.
Repeat after me: “It’s not the stuff, it’s not the stuff …”
Sure, give gifts. But it’s not how expensive or how many. It’s how much love is attached to them. And the real measure of our family’s depth may be found not in the quantity of presents lavished on one another but rather in the simple love and faith we share during this time; our common meals, moments of shared awe before the mystery of candles and carols and communion. Our life does not consist in the possessions we amass.
Repeat after me: “I’m getting quieter, not louder, I’m getting quieter, not louder …”
Let the winter darkness drive us to home and hearth, love and affection, compassion and memory. Light the fire, remember each ornament, listen to the recording one more time, drink the cup of hot chocolate. Gather your children and grandchildren unto yourself and watch the Christmas movie, read the book together, and tell stories of old. And, if so fortunate, watch each flake descend and alight on the previous one, “snow on snow on snow.” (Christina Rossetti)
Then make sure we haven’t forgotten those who have none of these things.
Get slow, brother. Get slow, sister.