A Christmas Cliche…

I thought I’d post my thoughts from our recent church newsletter for those of you who might not receive it in the mail.

This time of the year gets so busy! Thanksgiving services, Christmas Cantata’s, Christmas Eve communion, Christmas parties, shopping, traveling, putting up and taking down decorations; if it’s not one thing it is another. We don’t seem to have time to take a breath.

And in the middle of everything we hear what has become a constant complaint: Christmas has become too commercialized! This phrase has become so common I have come to regard it as a sign the holiday season has arrived. With this thought before you, dear reader, I’d like to share a few lines from a popular holiday movie:

Political Aid: All right, you go back and tell them that the New York State Supreme Court rules there’s no Santa Claus. It’s all over the papers. The kids read it and they don’t hang up their stockings.

Now what happens to all the toys that are supposed to be in those stockings? Nobody buys them. The toy manufacturers aren’t going to like that; so they have to lay off a lot of their employees, union employees. Now you got the CIO and the AF of L against ya and they’re going to adore ya for it and they’re going to say it with votes. Oh, and the department stores are going to love ya too and the Christmas card makers and the candy companies.

Ho ho, Henry, you’re going to be an awful popular fella. And what about the Salvation Army? Why, they got a Santy Claus on every corner, and they’re taking a fortune. But you go ahead Henry, you do it your way. You go on back in there and tell them that you rule there is no Santy Claus. Go on. But if you do, remember this: you can count on getting just two votes, your own and that district attorney’s out there.

Judge Henry Harper: The District Attorney’s a Republican.

These lines are from one of my favorite Christmas movies: Miracle on 34th Street. It becomes more interesting when we realize this movie first hit the theatres in 1947. If we think about it, the commercialization of Christmas has been around for a very long time. The big push for it came in the 1930s when President Roosevelt moved the Thanksgiving holiday so there would be more shopping time before Christmas.

What does this say to us? How do we handle this commercialization that’s been around for so long? The easiest and best way is the tired, old acronym we’ve heard so many times: KISS. Keep it simple silly! Yes, if we want to avoid all the hype and money of this season let us keep it simple. If we don’t, we get silly. Take this time and sit down with your family and share stories of Christmases past and talk about those places where this Holy Time intersects with our lives. Tell friends how this faith story has transformed you and what it means to pass on this story to future generations.

So, these are some thoughts for the last newsletter of 2012. Hope you have a very Merry Christmas and may the Peace of Christ reign in all your hearts.

God’s Best Always and in All Ways,

Pastor Derek

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