Our family is experimenting with Paleo eating these days, mostly for medical and health related reasons, but also because we’re just plain sick of the American diet.
So earlier this week, Noelle and I set out to WalMart to hunt and gather what we would need to get by for the week. I didn’t get to bring a caveman club to the store, although I sort of felt like it. It’s probably good I don’t go into WalMart armed with a club, I get a little crazy in there.
If you’ve been in any retail store in America during November or December you’ll know that it’s rigged to persuade you to buy holiday M&Ms and vinyl snowman tablecloths.
Noelle was delighted with the whole business, the banners, the elves and the wreathes hanging over every checkout lane light.
She looked up at me from her perch on the front of the cart as asked “Is it Christmas mom?”
Uhhh… yes… no.. sort of?
I hate WalMart. I hate all the busyness and hype of the Holidays. I hate cheap plastic junk so I had no idea how to respond to her simple question without stealing an ounce of her Christmas wonder.
Because no, practically it’s not Christmas yet, it’s the build up to Christmas. It’s the Christmas season, but not yet Christmas. I mean, Advent hasn’t officially started yet, right?
Also, because plastic elves and chocolate Santas aren’t really the sort of Christmas I want to give my children. I’m no grinch, in fact I’ve always adored Christmas and measured my year by it, or at least I used to.
Now Christmas is the season where we do, go, and buy. The month where we stay busy in everything but Christ.
It’s the season of nervous breakdowns, overdoing it, getting into debt and filling your trash can with more paper and boxes than any landfill can reasonable handle.
Christmas is scattered everywhere somehow it so rarely lands in our hearts where it belongs.
It’s all bass-ackwards.
Then we got to the checkout and somehow in the midst of conversation over beeping my purchases the cashier says: “You know it’s the season for suicides, right?”
Oh my heart. Yes, yes I know about the Christmas loneliness and desperation that leads to suicide. But I don’t really want to get into it with Norma the cashier as my daughter fidgets and our meat gets closer to room temperature.
So I just sigh a “yes” and we load to drive home, all the while wondering how in the world the gift of Christ became so twisted that it’s now “the season for suicide.”
It makes me want to huddle at home just the four of us.
To hold the kids until they squirm away from me.
To sit down with them and teach them the beauty of the Christmas story as we play
with our Little Tikes Nativity set.
When they finally drift off to sleep I want to sip tea or wine and stare at our Christmas tree. Let my heart dream of a world restored by the Christ whose season has been twisted into cheap plastic crap and utter despair.
I want to hit my knees and pray from my gut for the lonely and hurting for whom Christmas brings thoughts of ending it all.
So Noelle, is this Christmas? No, this isn’t Christmas, but let me show you what is.
Because, my sweet child, these plastic snowmen and cheap trinkets don’t touch what Christmas truly is. The miracle of it is almost shamed by the things we have designed to represent it.
I pray God gives me the words to help her understand the Revolution Christmas really is. Perhaps maybe to celebrate it properly we need to be Revolutionary once again.
To rail against what we are told to do about Christmas and do what we know is right. To say no to much and yes to the small and precious reflecting, remembering and storytelling.
May we put Christmas in our hearts and our children’s hearts through a season of real and intentional Christmasing.
If we see the lost and lonely whose minds dwell in the darkest spaces, may we be the ones who seek them out, invite them in and pour prayers and love over their lives.
May we be the ones who rail, RAIL against the thief that comes to steal and destroy the Christmas God’s trying to give us.
Do you feel it too? This desire to flee the crazy plastic Christmas? What are you doing to bring it all home?