Christmas once started for me when the JC Penny and Sears catalogs came in the mail. They came early in the fall, and I wore them out looking at the toy section. By December the catalogs where in shambles.
My mother used to order clothes and other stuff from those catalogs. I don’t remember her ever ordering toys. They usually came from the five and dime store in our town of Inez, Kentucky or G.C. Murphy’s store in Paintsville. Yet, the catalogs were fun and gave me ideas of the latest items for which to wish and hope.
I think my mother would enjoy the Internet today. She could order online like many of us are doing. Having Internet in the country is like have an updated Christmas catalog every day. There is always a means to shop and order. Back in that day ordering was tedious and arrival took weeks. Shipping back a dress that didn’t fit was a long ordeal.
As a child there was always much more that I saw, dreamed of and wished for than I ever received. Some Christmases were lean and others were more abundant. Life is like that most of the time. We have hopes and wishes that never come true and some that do. It’s nice when one or two come true.
We hope for good health and enough money to pay the bills. We hope for our children to have meaningful lives and to be independent. We hope for peace and to see positive results from our efforts in life. We would all like to be compensated well for the jobs we do. Being stuck in a job that is restraining with little hope of better wages is discouraging. Everyone deserves a life where internal inspiration can lead to reward and a better life.
The hardest part of life is when we feel hopeless. A terminal illness. Hard work with little to no reward. An empty house that isn’t changing because you just buried a spouse. Failing when you may have tried hard or just decisions that didn’t work out too well. All of these and more can be heartbreaking. Heartbreak doesn’t do much for the Christmas spirit.
Those of us who have lived a few years know that Christmas doesn’t come in a catalog. Never did. It doesn’t come on Black Fridays or cyber-Mondays. The multitude of Christmas programs don’t bring Christmas. Decorated houses and trees are delightful but they don’t create Christmas.
Christmas is an inside job. Christmas is in your heart and mind. The first Christmas was a peasant couple giving birth to a baby in a barn with a cow’s trough for a crib. They were poor and just paying their taxes was about all they could afford. Yet, the child brought a joy they had never experienced.
In Luke chapter 2:19 we read “but Mary treasured up all these things and pondered in her heart…”
Consider what and mainly who brings you joy and what really matters in your life and let there be Christmas in your heart during this season.