Monday, December 22, 2008

Scrooge is alive and well and living in New York

The New York Times ran an article reviewing It's a Wonderful Life (one of my top three Christmas movies). The reviewer cast his jaundiced eye at this American classic and painted everything black. You can read his pitiable perspective here. I read it and rolled my eyes. I'll take Bedford Falls over Pottersville any day of the week and twice on Sundays!

It happens every year - embittered people miss the meaning of Christmas. Is consumerism run amok? Absolutely. Does the hustle and bustle become hassle and bustle? Always. Does that have anything to do with Christmas? Nope.

Christmas is about recapturing the wonder of childhood when you look at the colorful evergreen with presents at its base. It's the way baking cookies takes you back to Christmases long ago.

Christmas is about spending time with family and friends. Remember Christmases past and the loved ones who now celebrate with the once newborn and now reigning King of Kings.

I give gifts to express my love to people and feel confident that the gifts I receive express the same sentiment to me. In this we image God who loved us and gave gifts to men, the ultimate being the gift of His Son. I bake goodies and hand them out to friends and family because I remember Christ was born in Bethlehem - the House of Bread. I put lights on my tree and outside on shrubs because I celebrate the arrival of the true Light of the World. I sing carols because the angels also sang at His birth. And above all, I know that the meaning of Christmas is best expressed, as Linus tells Charlie Brown in the Peanuts' Christmas classic, by:

And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be taxed. (And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.) And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city.

And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:) To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child.

And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered. And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.

And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.

And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,

Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.

Luke 2: 1-14

1 comment:

RosieBoo said...

"That's what Christmas is all about Charlie Brown." :)