Christmas Spirit? Sock it to me!
While many Americans elbowed their way towards the light of a price-slashed flat screen; I spent my Black Friday strolling into our small town Kmart at 5:00 am, amidst a crowd of ten. Not one to regularly pursue the aisle of stores ending in “mart,” I was lured in by the promise of 50 cent Holiday socks. The perfect door prize for my spin classes later that morning.
Two steps into the women’s department I found them: as-advertised, incredibly tacky, christmas socks that only came in shoe size 10-13. They were even better (or worse depending on how you look at it) than I expected. The Santa penguins had little puff balls on their hats. Actually, only the right sock had the puff-ball. Apparently putting one on the left was not cost-effective. The sparkly martini glasses were supposed to say “Cheers!” Again, the “s” didn’t make the budget cuts. And the knee-high argyle only made it mid-calf before stretching into paisley. I loaded up, and headed for the men’s section.
Unable to find the Holiday Socks for men, I looked for somebody in a red vest.
There I stood, in the middle of Kmart, at 5:00 am, holding 40 pairs of socks with puff balls while asking a vest clad and heavily pierced teenager where I could find sparkly socks for men. The teenager stood in horror as he informed me that they don’t make holiday socks for men. And I was the epitome of what is wrong with Christmas.
I’m not talking about the commercialization of the holiday. I’m talking about the endless searching of the season. I spend most of December looking for something. Trying to find the perfect gifts for my family, the best tree on the farm, the most flattering dress for the party. It is a brutal pursuit. The gifts are always the wrong size or wrong price, the trees never possess the perfect proportions, and my own proportions never match the dress I really want. In seeking the components of Christmas, I lose the spirit all together.
There was searching on the first Christmas. Herod sent wise men to Bethlehem in search of the child that was born there. They found Him. Jesus. They rejoiced. They worshipped Him. They returned home in peace. They found the Christ.
The beauty of Christmas is that the search is over. Our Savior has come, and He brings peace. How ironic that the season is so often marked by frantic pursuits. The true spirit of Christmas will never be found in tacky socks or flat screen televisions. It can only be found when we stop seeking components and start seeking Christ.