I would like one of those Christmases that I see on TV commercials, please.
I’ve tried hard to have one of those Christmases. I’ve baked cookies, and I’ve melted fancy cheese over gourmet breads. I’ve flipped through fashion magazines to determine whether silver is in or whether this is the year for gold. I’ve flirted with advent calendars, I’ve bought sparkly shoes. I even have a garland to drape over the mantel. But somewhere along the way, I seem to have lost the “merry.”
No matter how hard I try to get it together, no matter how many times I try to make Christmas the way it ought to be, it seems like I always wind up with a box of broken candy canes.
I was sitting in church last Sunday when the pastor said something interesting. He said that people take a gift God intended to be a good thing and turn it into The Ultimate Thing.
And that’s when it hit me: Christmas isn’t something that I can buy. It can’t even be made. It doesn’t come from red sweaters or Christmas caroling or even from perfectly spiced cider. I can’t spend enough money to make this Christmas perfect, to make my family happy, to turn myself into the Christmas version of the person I think I ought to be. The commercial machine would love for me to think I can. In fact, it depends upon it. But this year, I think I finally get it: Christmas can’t be bought; it can only be received.
This season, please join me in turning your eyes from the gift and fixing them upon the giver.
Are there ever times when you feel like you’re failing to live up to a perfect holiday ideal? What are some ways you and your family focus on what really matters?
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Both are determined—Lucy to save her family’s candy shop, Charlie to please his father by dominating the candy industry. Rivals, will love sweeten or sour the deal?