Thursday, December 5, 2013

Spreading Christmas Cheer

December's Newsletter article: 

The movie Elf, one of my personal Christmas-movie favorites, has the line “The best way to spread Christmas Cheer, is singing loud for all to hear.” That line becomes essential to the plot as Santa is trying to escape the Central Park Rangers when one of the characters starts singing Santa Claus is Coming to Town .  Soon the crowd gathered, along with people around the city who are watching on TV start singing along and Santa’s sled, which is powered by Christmas Cheer, is able to take off. (Watch the scene here

While Elf is a work of fiction, the movie does have it right that Christmas Cheer spreads and sometimes it can spread quickly and like wildfire.  And yes, a good carol sing spreads that cheer,  (you can easily be sucked into YouTube for hours by looking at Christmas flash mobs and here is a good one to start with) but there are other ways to spread that cheer, and the other ways are often spread that cheer in more long-lasting ways. 

We all know that December can be a time of joy, of hope, of anticipation, of peace, of love, of preparation, of celebration, all due to Christ’s birth. However for believers and unbelievers alike, December can be a time of stress, of frustration, of mourning, of loneliness, of despair and of depression because one is either trying to make things too perfect or because one remembers Christmases past and realizes that their life circumstances are different. 

Sometimes the best way to spread Christmas Cheer is not to sing loud but to love deeply – to care for our neighbors with a Christ-like love for all of our fellow human beings.   Sometimes the best way to spread 
Christmas Cheer is to give of ourselves more – to not waste time and money trying to purchase the perfect gift but to spend time with someone who is feeling alone or stressed this season.  Sometimes the best way to spread Christmas Cheer is to not be perfect – if you allow yourself to be who you are and not try to live up to a movie version of what Christmas needs to be like, you will be less stressed. And if you are less stressed others around you will be less stressed.

But really above all, the best way to spread Christmas Cheer is to worship fully – to take time to pray, to sing carols (preferably not just the ones about Santa), to read scripture, to reflect on where God is in your life today. 

This Advent, this Christmas, spend time spreading Christmas Cheer so that everyone can celebrate Christ’s birth with hope, love, joy and peace, not stress, loneliness or despair.

~Pastor Becca

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