As the Christmas holiday approaches, it may be worthwhile to look at how we're preparing to celebrate. Since I would scarcely be the first to comment on Christmas commercialism, I think I'll refrain. Suffice to say that, although the goal may be worthy for other reasons, "the reason for the season" is NOT making sure the local stores stay in the black.
For Christians it can be a challenge to keep Christ in Christmas what with all the distractions and opportunities to buy that assail us during the season, not to mention the guilt trips: Have you remembered Auntie Martha? Can you watch a child starve while you feast? Putting out our nativity scenes helps, but it can't be the only step. It takes work to keep the celebration of Christ's birth centered on Him.
What about non-Christians? Many participate in the secular, spend-it-all portion of the holiday, but let me suggest here that even those who don't remember Christ's birth can find a higher purpose for their holiday.
A friend recently suggested that Christmas should become the culmination of our Thanksgiving holiday, that we would do well to spend the whole season being grateful for all that is good in our lives. That's a higher purpose I can encourage.
Sharing love and concern and time with those we hold dear can also mean more than sharing expensive gifts that may need to be returned.
Whatever our religious or non-religious orientation, I am hoping that, as we contemplate and prepare for the holiday, we try to imbue it with greater and deeper meaning than department store sales. We all deserve better than that.