1928 - Alderson High School - 1968



Where did Christmas Go?

What do you mean, were did Christmas go, you ask. It is the 25th of December this year just like always. Look, its even marked with a little wreath on my calendar. Look. What do you mean, where did Christmas go?

I am sure that most of you are in the midst of planning, buying and decorating for this most important holiday time. Christmas is observed not just here in the United States, but all over the world. In every culture and language. I think at first blink that sounds really awesome. The whole world observing the birth of my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. But lets look a little deeper.

The next time you go to the store or to the mall, look at the store fronts. You see Christmas trees, artificial snow and Santa Clause’s galore. Brightly wrapped packages, colored lights and trimmings all of which remind us of getting and receiving presents and hopefully families gathering together for a Yule quaff and good times. However, don’t you find it just a little odd that when you go to the store or the mall, you don’t see anything that tells you why we have the holiday in the first place?

If you look hard enough, you might see a manger scene in miniature, or in plastic in front of a church, but other than that, there is absolutely nothing to remind us of what the season is all about. How did the reason we have this holiday in the first place, get so mixed up? How did we get from Savior of the world to a funny little guy in a red suit, running the length and breadth of the earth in one night handing out toys and goodies to all the little boys and girls. My grandson brought me a list the other day that would put stretch marks on my charge card. He doesn’t just want a tree, he wants a tree room. There needs to be a lot of room to put all the things he is expecting to receive this Christmas. This feeling is echoed in every house around the country by child and grownup alike.

Lets go a step further. Years ago, when you bought something at a store for Christmas, the clerk always said “Merry Christmas”. Last year as I did my shopping, I purposely told the clerks “Merry Christmas”. When I did I got a lot of stares, people looked at me like I grew an extra ear on my face. Others smiled and shook their heads, while a very, very few answered back with “Merry Christmas”. Every once in a while I would get “Seasons Greetings”, but that was about it.

I guess what we have instead of a profound deep meaning holiday is a 31 day buying and selling blitz to people who feel obligated under various reasons, to buy something, wrap it in some glittering paper and give it to the person they feel obligated to. Names are put on lists. You have the “A” list through “D” list of people who have done things for you through the year. The paper boy, the lawn boy and of course don’t forget pool boy. There are the bosses and the bosses’ wives, the second cousins of the bosses who are spending the holidays and you don’t feel comfortable sending over packages and leaving anyone out. You have your co-workers, and of course you always have that one person who you despise at work and it grinds you to give them anything, but if you leave them out......... The A list get gifts from name brand stores while the D list get whatever can be picked up at discount. We are so involved in who we are buying for, we have forgotten why we buy and give presents at this time of the year. The simple truth is, its an act of love. When you select and give a gift, it should be done, not out of any obligation, but out of love. Isn’t the true story of Christmas the giving of the ultimate gift. For God so loved the world, that he gave...........