"I am so tired of Christmas music, already," a cashier announced to me recently. With Thanksgiving falling early, America's "Christmas Season" is well under way. "Do you like Christmas in general?" I asked her. "Oh yeah. I just don't like the music. But I love getting stuff for my kids and watching them open their presents... I love Christmas," she said.
Is that what Christmas is about, the presents? Deb and I haven't got out our 'Christmas stuff' boxes yet; our halls are soberly undecked. Unlike most our neighbors we decided to conservatively wait to put up lights until December had actually begun. Each of us has done considerable shopping, though - is this what it really means for an American to get into the Christmas spirit? We are nothing if not shoppers, customers, consumers. And the stack of catalogs and ads in the recycle bin grows higher.
Like so many things in life, though, I find this whole gift-giving aspect of Christmas holds both traps and opportunities. It tempts me to greed, discontent, frenzy, overspending ... but at the same time provides a chance to affirm and build relationships: saying thanks, I appreciate you, I want to bless you.
We have so much to be grateful for.