Every year around October, Christmas rears it’s red and green tinseled head and dazzles us with promises of perfection. Perfectly wrapped presents ‘neath a perfectly decorated tree. Bing Crosby on the radio and Christmas shaped cookies in the oven. We laugh gaily as we sip our peppermint mochas from our snowmen mugs, dressed in our cozy Christmas sweaters . Why are we laughing? Because we just finished mailing our adorable Christmas cards. Sent out just in time with our perfect little family front and center, hallmark channel smiles adorn our rosy faces, “Merry Christmas Everyone!”

We gaze out our windows from our classically decorated Better and Homes and Gardens family room while humming Christmas carols, beholding a  perfect setting of light snow falling on evergreens. We look lovingly at our delightful children dressed perfectly in Christmas jammies! ….Ding! Cookies are done! Come children let’s go frost those adorable little confections in your matching Christmas jammies while I post perfectly edited pictures on facebook! Ahhhh….perfection.
When October rolls around it can be tempting to jump on the Christmas train, All a’board!….headed not for Santa’s workshop, but for Crazyville and Disappointmenton . Sad, lonely places filled with stress, worry, striving, debt, guilt, fatigue, confusion, depression, strife, and ten extra “holiday” pounds. Our calendar quickly fills with parties, celebrations, events, cleaning, decorating, shopping, baking, hosting, frosting, wrapping, and grimacing.

Don’t get me wrong, I like Christmas, but I refuse to worship it.

Ironically, the holiday where we celebrate the birth of Jesus, the Prince of Peace who came to take away our burdens , fill us with joy, renew our hope, forgive our sins and not to mention give us REST, can turn into quite the opposite. We can be deceived into thinking “but this is how we celebrate Jesus!”  Then why do we feel like murdering someone Dec.24th ?, Why are we secretly relieved Dec. 26th? And why are we plunged into depression Jan. 15th when the credit card bill is due? Maybe it’s time to reevaluate this whole Christmas thing….could it be these very things , these Christmas cards, Christmas cookies, Christmas songs, Christmas sweaters, Christmas lights, Christmas Trees, Christmas wreaths, Christmas coffee drinks, Christmas dinners, Christmas shopping, and Christmas decorations are nothing more than empty offerings to an empty god? We give and give and feel more and more disappointed in our Christmas. Like perhaps we missed something…? Are we doing these things to fill an obligation to that empty idol called Christmas or are we doing these things from love? Real, true love, placed in a humble manger over 2,000 years ago?

So decorate those halls! Ring those bells! Eat those cookies, and sing those carols! But, if they don’t bring joy to your heart, and peace to your spirit, if they don’t call you closer to your Savior and remind you of a mighty God who humbled himself by becoming a baby; born to be His ultimate sacrifice… maybe it’s time to lay them down before Him. It could be your very first step towards knowing the perfect Christmas.