Written by Bill Waller. Mr. Waller is a author and contributor local blog, Southwest Georgia Politics. He enjoys writing, traveling, and researching history. He currently resides in Albany, Georgia.
Christmas is upon us. It seems to creep up about this time every year, doesn’t it? A friend of mine says that he often feels that he misses the mark every year. The father of two teenage boys, he wonders if the magic that he experienced is still there for his sons. I told him that I can relate. My oldest says he is imitating me when he says, “You don’t like it, do you? Did you want a different color? I can take it back. Just let me know.”
The truth is that he has never complained about color, design, or style. He is happy to get the gift. I think that we parents can get so caught up in the commercialism of Christmas that we miss the point. We don’t want to let our children down.
My mother says that when she was a little girl, she would often get one or two gifts for Christmas and she would play with them all day. Things have gotten more complicated. I accompanied mom last week on her quest to shop for the grandkids. It is even more complicated when you have not been given a list. Everything becomes a blur of plastic made in China with the only difference being the color and shape of the plastic. It didn’t take long before I was just a discouraged as grandma.
The economy has gotten even tougher than last year. Many are without a job, and inflation has hit in a noticeable way. There is no doubt that more than just my friend and myself feel that we have fallen short of the expectations of the season.
Has Christmas melted away like last year’s snow? No. Buried under the wreathes, pretty lights, packages, and bows is the real meaning. It is still there. It has always been. You can see it in the eyes of the young and in the smiles of old that still experience the magic. More often than not, spending time is so much more appreciated than spending money.
For me, the time when it all comes together each year is during the Christmas Eve candlelight service at First United Methodist Church of Albany. There are no wrapped packages or stockings. Instead, the focus is on the gift of a baby to a world of darkness. I am sure that other area churches offer a similar service. If you are jaded with the commercialism of Christmas and feel like you have fallen short of the mark, perhaps a Christmas Eve service is the perfect gift for yourself. Merry Christmas!