Is the schmaltz just a little too much?
You know, I am a born cynic, somewhat sarcastic, and a bit of a grouch at times, so you would think I would not get into Christmas. You would think that I would be totally against the glitz, the holly, the “sleigh rides”… oh wait I live in Florida… no sleigh rides… but you would think the sight of fat guys in red suits with white beards and patent-leather boots would cause me to hurl. And because I’m a Christian I would have the excuse that the holiday is way too commercial, and we have forgotten the “Reason for the Season”.
But the fact is, I’m not like that at all. I love Christmas, I love the cheesy music, the schmaltzy TV movies, the huge huge Christmas sales, the lights, the decorations, you name it… I’m all over it. Ask my wife it is quite true.
I’ll admit it can be a bit overwhelming, and the season is undoubtedly stressful, but maybe the corny, over-the-top stuff is just what we need. Here’s what I mean. We… and by that I mean adults… give this holiday to the kids. We think that all the parades, flash and pizzazz of Christmas is just a winter diversion for them, but what if we embraced it too? What if we let ourselves be children about the holiday? I’m not alone in my cynical, sarcastic attitude toward life… that’s our culture. To be honest, it’s negative, and that’s not really godly. So, what would it be if we put aside our attitudes, our anticipation of the stress, and just enjoyed this time for what it is?
Jesus said, if you don’t enter the kingdom of God like a little child you can’t enter it. I think we can see that children don’t have a problem enjoying the “commercial” aspects of Christmas and the understanding that Christmas is about Christ. They get excited about the Charlie Brown Christmas Special (as do I) and the Nativity reenactment because they get that it is all a giant celebration.
Do some people misplace their joy and focus on the gifts and the stuff more than they should? Sure. But that doesn’t mean we have to.
So, here’s my advice… be a kid for a change. As the song says, “to kids from 1 to 92” Embrace the schmaltz, take sometime to listen to cheesy Christmas music, drink pepperminty drinks with lots of chocolate… see what happens.