Do you approach Christmas with a clear expectation or are you one of many who simply wade into the ocean of festivities destined to struggle with keeping your head above the celebratory tide? Perhaps the question is more precisely – Is Christmas a season, an event, or Holiday, for you? For some Christmas offers an opportunity to end the year on a positive note as a season that provides for reflection, optimism, and a general sense of (hoped for) well-being. For others Christmas is an event, which grants opportunity to reach out beyond the daily routine, maybe even perform in front of others, and possibly receive the acknowledgement sought throughout the year. Finally, for others, Christmas is a Holiday – a break from work, an opportunity to socialize with family and friends, as well as a reason (as if it is needed) to engage in alcohol induced merriment meant to enhance the experience. For each of these disappointment is an almost inevitable result given the reality of variables beyond our control.
So then, as it relates to Christmas, what are you looking for? If your answer to that question can be summarized (even in part) by any of the perspectives listed above does that suggest Christmas is a pessimistic wolf dressed in optimistic sheep’s clothing? Certainly that is a sentiment we would reject as we plan our celebrations, decorate our tree(s), and exchange gifts. However, the day, week, or month, after Christmas when we experience the seemingly unavoidable “let down” as the impending sense of routine begins to build again maybe we would be more inclined to share the less favorable sense of pessimism.
What then, as it relates to Christmas, should we be looking for? May I suggest if the focus of Christmas was looking for the opportunity to serve others, in a manner consistent with their expressed needs, to the best of our ability, with no expectation of anything in return, that Christmas would be more than a season, an event, or a Holiday. Yes, given that level and orientation of focus Christmas would pay true and proper homage to the genesis of its existence – the birth of the Christ Child and His dedication to sacrificial giving. This perspective lends itself to a perpetual tide of optimism. This perspective, correctly employed, cannot disappoint. This perspective allows mutual benefit to abound. Rather than look for something that must be adorned with superficial cosmetics open yourself up to the one thing that is looking for you – the genuine need(s) of others.