If you know me at all, you have probably figured out that I am an “against the crowd” type of girl.
I hate hype.
For instance, I absolutely love the Harry Potter series because I think J.K. Rowling is a brilliant writer, but you will not see me in line to see the movie on opening day. Nor will you see me toting around my book, going on and on about how much I love Harry or Ron or Professor Dumbledore… there are already enough weirdos out there doing just that. In fact, I’m pretty sure there are millions of them.
So if you ever catch me with a Harry Potter book, it will be under the covers in the safety of my own four walls. The commercialization drives me crazy, and I refuse to be associated with it.
Which brings me to other points.
Thanksgiving and Christmas.
This is the time of year when people who normally aren’t very nice make a roundabout turn. They smile at the dinner table. They write out their “I am thankful for…” lists for everyone to read. They carve the turkey and watch the annual feel-good Thanksgiving movie. They say thank you in exchange for the box after box of confection goodies.
And then they complain about the long lines the next day.
Here’s a thought: how about we practice Thanksgiving everyday of the year instead of one day out of the 365? It might make the world a tad bit more holly jolly.
And not just during the holiday season.
A few days ago, I had the opportunity to see thankfulness firsthand. I was served by the most humble men and women I have ever met. I may have been the one dishing out the Thanksgiving dinner, but they were the ones making the impact. They were without homes. Some of them were without families. Most of them were without jobs, and all of them were without the commercialized Thanksgiving holiday.
Yet they were happy; they were thankful.
These men and women who had the right to sit on the sidewalk and bemoan society and life instead clung to the hope of the season: God. They saw His hand in their circumstances. They thanked Him for providing the meal and fellowship. They were grateful that a God that big would pay attention to them in all their mess.
They knew the truth of the season.
As Christians, we know the truth. We know “the reason for the season”, but we don’t always live by it. It’s easy to get caught up in the “things” that come along with the cool breeze. It’s easy to focus on buying Christmas cards instead of taking the time out of our busy schedules to stop and tell someone how much we appreciate them.
It’s easier to buy into the commercialization, but it’s not better. Christmas cards, winter treats, and “I’m thankful for..” phrases are all fine and dandy, but there is a greater reason for the season. Those things don’t give us the hope. Those things don’t point to the truth. Those things are just things that aid in our quest for something more.
As you get ready to lavish your gratitude and gifts on those in your life, remember that sometimes the most special gift is the one that comes out of your own life, not the Hallmark aisle at the grocery store.