Oh no its not me but Oscar the Grouch from Sesame Street who is saying this.
Its funny , but poor Oscar is partly right.If I was celebrating Christ' s birth in a treadmill meaningless way I would hate it too.
Christmas kept as a frenzied holiday can be pretty stressful. Just a rigmarole of tradition and activity. A lonely time for singles,the bereaved and those separated from their family for various reasons.
Childhood is the best time to enjoy Christmas. You are not responsible for anything - just enjoy the fun which older people have arranged for you.
I remember our family activity around Christmas time.The baking of traditional Christmas fruit cakes. My grandma with with the help of maids and aunts prepared special goodies and I was always eager to sample them hot off the stove. The tantalising aroma of sweet and savoury eatables made them hard to resist. I teased my grandma by playfully pinching handfuls of delights from loaded brass platters. She was ready for my naughtiness and pretended to scold me.
The provender and cakes were stored in large trunks waiting for guests to arrive. Family and friends would visit us ( and still do ) during Christmas week and after and were served Christmas specialities with tea and cake. Sometimes people call before they visit otherwise one can drop in anytime.
On December 25th we attended morning church , and had lunch at home . There were lots of visitors to share food with. After that we set off to visit relatives and friends returning late in the evening.
Gift exchange was not prevalent among adults in those days ( as it is now) but children got toys and money. I always wished for books. We gave away food packages , money and clothes to the less fortunate and our helpers, and still do each year.
Sending cards and telegram greetings was in vogue, but in these modern times it has been replaced by emails, telephone calls and text messages.
We got our Christmas clothes ready. It was not necessary to buy new clothes each year.
Decorating the house was fun with everybody giving instructions to each other. I, being the family clown teased and tackled my sisters who chided me with indignation.
When our old artificial Christmas tree shed all its leaves , Sonia used a tall potted fern to string up the ornaments. And I enjoyed poking fun of her "Desert Christmas tree". Poor Sonia still remembers that levity.
There were lots of Christmas music and pageants to attend and participate in. (Tomorrow we are having a Christmas program in our church organised by the Believer 's Church.) And weddings too. People like to get married in the cool season as the weather is pleasant. Oh yes there were picnics, outings and fairs too.
Just take out Christ from Christmas and what do you have left just a holiday- something for the body but nothing for the heart.
I want to have a vision of the glorified Christ this Christmas.
St Teresa of Avila was born in 1515.She was a great Christian mystic and many people today are blessed and encouraged by her writings. Once she tried to describe her vision of the glorified Christ.
"It is not a radiance which dazzles, but a soft whiteness and an infused radiance which, without wearing the eyes causes them the greatest delight nor are they wearied of the brightness which they see in seeing this Divine beauty...It is a light which never gives place to light, and being always light is disturbed by nothing."
I wish you the brightness of a vision of the glorified Christ this Christmas.