Our Christmas celebrations can be as fake as our Christmas trees
It’s Christmastime again. I know what you’re thinking -- we go through the same rituals every year. Thanksgiving ends, and everyone readies themselves for the coming holiday. My family bought our tree just days after we had consumed our turkey. But how can buying a Christmas tree put me into the Christmas spirit? What else am I missing concerning the holiday?
Several years ago, Charlie Brown purchased a tiny Christmas tree. To the normal passerby this tree was not at all fantastic. Its tiny stump barely held the small branches hanging to the ground. Its little branches seemed to sink under the weight of each passing breeze. Despite all of these things it was his tree. It was special to him. Not because of the size or the brilliant branches, but because it was more than just a tree.
Every year my family and I go through the same argument. Should we save the money and purchase a fake tree with bright lights already circling the branches, or do we purchase a real one? The argument usually begins with my father on one side and my brother, mother and I on the other.
“Think of the money we would save every year,” my father says.
My mother and I earnestly beg my father to consider the wonder and majesty we would lose if the tree were made entirely of plastic and synthetic materials. As we exit the Christmas tree lot with our great triumph, I think about what that tree really means to my family and me. What are some other ways that we “fake” the Christmas holiday?
Jesus is the reason for the season. How much of this statement do we actually believe? Yes, we attend a Christian school where everyone around us proclaims to be followers of Jesus Christ. However, when it really comes down to the holiday season, how much attention is really given to Him?
Are we not also going through the motions as we worry about what presents to buy and whether our tree should be real or fake? Nothing in the way we celebrate the holidays should be fake. I have come to the conclusion that whether we buy a fake or real tree is not at the heart of the matter. At the center of the issue is whether our hearts are genuine or false. Are we just going through the holiday motions or is there more at stake here?
If one were to stop and think about it, this is the celebration of Christ’s birth. Now I know this isn’t something you regularly consider. Our first association with the Christmas season usually isn’t aimed toward the Christ child. So this year embrace the Charlie Brown Christmas within you. It doesn’t matter the size of the tree or whether it is real or fake. It doesn’t matter whether you finish all of your shopping by Dec. 24. What matters is whether your Christmas spirit is real or fake. With the reality of Christ comes the reality of a great Christmas season.