I'm a winger of sorts.  I like quality, but don't always need to prepare to the hilt to get there.  That sounds bad.  Almost arrogant.  Or, that I don't care.  It's really neither. 

I don't necessarily fault people who do.  Ok, not entirely true.  I probably do get a bit irked at those folks who want to make more of preparing than is deemed appropriate in my eyes.  Anyone who makes something simple overly complicated drives me toward insanity.  Their over preparation, over involved and over fixated on the non-importants of anything takes the joy away from the thing for me.

There are certain things in life that should not be overly messed with; thinning bangs, kids hair before their school pictures, thickening agents in gravy, the wrinkle to Botox ratio, hair color as we age, trying to make turkey into turducken, our natural fingernails, changing the recipe to a loved favorite such as the introduction of NEW COKE, resolving the love interest tension in a TV sitcom, and Christmas.

Christmas is most definitely in that category as well.  We have messed and messed and messed with it.  It has created expectations, deadlines, excessive preparations almost to the point of ridiculousness.  We rush straight from the table on Thanksgiving to the now midnight opening of Black Friday to begin the battle to win the time war to Christmas.  It wears me out!

Do you have your shopping done?  What are you doing for Christmas? 
They are conversational questions, small-talk starters meant to connect us to people.  They though highlight how we view Christmas - BUYING AND DOING.  I have faced that in myself as well sitting at the table trying to decide what exactly to make for Christmas at our house.  What all I need to get done to prepare for that meal, that day, the kids, the grand kids.

I don't think God intended for us to overly mess with something He was trying to give us as a gift.  He doesn't need us to alter it, change the original recipe, add our humanistic capitalistic bent to something divinely intended to change our world and us.  It's like we all want to take something simple and pure and complicate it.  As if we are going to top what God did through sending us His son Jesus to relate to our humanness.

Think about the event of what Christmas represents - the birth of Christ.  The actual human birth of Christ in Bethlehem came without elaborate means, preparation or hoopla.  Mary went into childbirth in a stable or a small cave intended to house animals from the weather.  There was nothing excessive about that.  In fact, the contrast of the Deity of Christ against that backdrop was not drowned out by excess.  Brilliant!!  Spot on God!!

I don't want to race from one thing to another in life in general.  And, I definitely don't want to do that with Thanksgiving and Christmas. Much of life can be a blur.  We move from day to day, event to event, circumstance to circumstance, activity to activity, upward climb to upward climb.  We are a lot like kids at Christmas, not fully enjoying the present we just unwrapped because there are two or three more unwrapped ones sitting there. 

Stop the complicated madness!  BE!

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