The Christmas spirit is not something that comes and goes each year, but something that separates us from the rest of the world during the rest of the year.
Tis the Season
Plastered all around us, in some form or another, we will see the phrase, “Tis the season to ____.” Tis the season to be giving, tis the season to be loving, and I have even seen, tis the season to go shopping. In grocery marts, retail stores, coffee shops, and even the hair cutting parlor we will hear the words over the speakers, “tis the season to be jolly.”
Often times, there are sincere hearts inside those who think that it is a good idea to plaster their own version of this phrase for marketing purposes. However, there are some negative implications of these short pithy taglines.
The Changing Cultural Tides
As Christians, we have to be very careful to not get behind these taglines. We have to be cautious that we are not only giving into the mega-cultural-phenomenon of the Christmas spirit that lasts through the days of December and drops immediately at midnight on the first of January.
Is it not ironic that the culture transitions from such a “selfless” Christmas season of giving, loving, serving, and being jolly; and in one day becomes very self-centered? At the drop of a ball, we shift our eyes off the needs of others and gaze towards our own New Year Resolutions.
There is nothing wrong with the cute little taglines, some of them are actually quite clever, the issue is when we actually believe them and live by them. I also have nothing wrong with New Year Resolutions. I think that the New Year is a great time to look at our mistakes of the year prior and repair what we have broken; and also to prepare for the year to come. I just find it very ironic how we culturally shift the focus so quickly; and the short little “tis the season” phrases that were plastered everywhere quickly swivel to the question, “What are your New Year’s Resolutions?”
A Consistent Christmas Spirit
If this time of the year is the season to do and be these things, then what about the rest of the year?
Sure, we as Christians look different this time of year and our churches come alive, but what about the rest of the year? Do people see a change in us this time of year or are we consistently this generous, joyful, and loving all year long? That is really the true test to know if we are caught in the cultural phenomenon of Christmas or if we are truly living with the Christmas spirit all year long.
What if we lived all year truly believing Immanuel has come and is coming again? What if we lived all year truly believing that God is with us and for us? What if people noticed that during December, everybody looked a lot like Christians do the other eleven months of the year?
The Christmas spirit is not something that comes and goes each year, but something that separates us from the rest of the world during the rest of the year. So yes, tis the season to be loving, tis the season to be giving, tis the season to be jolly, but tis always the season! Now maybe, the “tis the season to go shopping” phrase can stay in the month of December for the sake of all our bank accounts—even though my wife may argue for that one to be an all-year-round season as well.