How busy is your December? A quick look at my calendar for just the first two weeks of this month and I can quickly overwhelm myself. There is the decorating of the church, setting up The Nativity festival, an event for the Veterans in need, Christmas programs, and the standard Christmas fellowships mixed in with the regular monthly commitments. This calendar listing doesn’t even include my personal preparations for the holiday. Consequently, as I look at my Christmas schedule I wonder if perhaps I am just too busy for Christmas!
Christmas is the largest celebration held world-wide every year. Â Approximately 2 billion people, both Christians and non-Christians alike, celebrate the event.Â Most noteworthy is that Christmas, unlike other holidays, isn’t a simple one-day event. Instead it is a celebration that is often focused upon for an entire month and sometimes more.
Christmas, over the years, has become a big business of ”more”. As a result, many retailers of the world attempt to twist the true meaning of Christmas into a grand celebration of getting more, giving more, and thus preparing for more. With an emphasis on ”more,” some businesses tend to push the Christmas holiday many months beforeÂ the actual celebration. These retailers often rush the season as early as August while others focus their entire business year-round on the sale of the celebration preparations. Because of this drive, the Christmas celebration often forces us to feel the pressure of the world in ways unseen before. Â Combined together it all further emphasizes the rush and busyness of the season.
What Exactly Are We Celebrating?
Unfortunately, all the rush sometimes leaves us feeling like we are just too busy for the celebration.Â We become caught up in the busyness and it is seemingly difficult to find the Christ gift in the midst of the world’s celebration. Sometimes we have to look hard to find Christ in the mix of all the decorations, gifts, and parties. But it is necessary however to not only remember but recognize that it is Christ, rather than the twinkling Christmas lights that brings the real light of hope into the world for everyone. He is the most important gift that God blesses us with on earth.
We will not find this gift however by making the holiday busy or rushed.Â Because in order to really celebrate the gift we must slow down and reflect. Christ is the only hope for eternal life and security. And we can take comfort in knowing that He leads us as the good and caring shepherd.
Many learn to recite Psalm 23 as a child in order to lean heavily upon the words as an adult. There is comfort in knowing that God is with us at all times.Â In the writings of Mother Teresa there is a unique adaptation of the 23rd Psalm entitled, I Shall Not Rush. Â As we move into the busy season of Christmas we should stop and reflect regularly upon the absolute necessity of slowing down instead of speeding up the celebration.
I Shall Not Rush
The Lord is my pace setter”¦I shall not rush
He makes me stop for quiet intervals
There He provides me with images of stillness which restore my serenity
He leads me in the way of efficiency through calmness of mind and His guidance is peace
Even though I have a great many things to accomplish each day, I will not fret, for His presence is here
His timelessness, His all importance will keep me in balance
He prepares refreshment and renewal in the midst of my activity by anointing my mind with His oils of tranquility
My cup of joyous energy overflows
Truly harmony and effectiveness shall be the fruits of my hours for I shall walk in the pace of my Lord and dwell in His house forever. (Spink, 1983)
No More, “Too Busy!”
As you move into this month of celebration stop and reflect upon why you celebrate.Â Don’t allow yourself to become so busy celebrating Christmas that you forget the focus of the celebration. Make sure that the truest gift that the world has doesn’t become misplaced or only given a minor role. Bundle up the high excitement along with the pressures of the festivities of preparations, food, parties, gifts, and extravagances and then stop, listen, and reflect upon the Christ gift. Being busy in the season is meaningless if you don’t take the time to focus on God’s gift. For it is in knowing that the gift of Christ is the only reason to celebrate that you can see clearly how God prepared salvation for everyone.
This year make sure the focus of your celebration is on the Christ gift for without Him there is nothing to celebrate.Â Challenge yourself to slow down and raise Christ above the festivities, food, memories, gifts, and decorations. Clearly see and help others to see through you that He is the reason to celebrate with a motivation to reflect upon the true meaning of the Christ gift. And best of all, abide in the comfort of knowing that the true celebration never ends…
For Christ is for all people everywhere bringing the light of hope for all eternity.
Love in Christ,
I have seen your salvation, which you have prepared for all people. Luke 2:30 (NLT)
The spirit of Christmas is the spirit of love and of generosity and of goodness. It illuminates the picture window of the soul, and we look out upon the world’s busy life and become more interested in people than in things.
Thomas S. Monson
Credits Spink, K. (Ed.). (1983). Mother Teresa, Life in the Spirit: Reflections, Meditations, Prayers,. San Francisco: Harper & Row.
What are your thoughts? Join Us in Discussion
Is your Christmas schedule full of busy? Do you find it hard to find the Christ gift in the mass of commercialism? Have you stopped and reflected today on the gift of salvation that God gave the world? Join us in discussion on how to find the gift of Christ in the midst of being busy celebrating Christmas.