I'm sure you have seen the picture of a man in Washington state who hung a stuffed Santa on a cross as a Christmas decoration. He was protesting the commercialization of Christmas and the excesses of the season.
I'm with him. SORTA.
There are excesses. People spending money they don't have on people they don't care that much about.
But there's always Dancing Santa. The Jolly Old Elf 10" high weaving back and forth to that holiest of carols, Jingle Bells. What makes it all really special is that Santa in that iteration is made in China. He sings in English however. I can almost smell the Figgie Pudding.
I heard a "Christmas round the world" report on NPR this morning. Christmas is being celebrated, trees, ornaments, Santa hats AND dancing Santa all around the world. Particularly in Muslim and Hindu countries.
This story about Christmas in Turkey and in India was heard by yours truly on NPR this morning. You can hear it too. The essence of the story is that Christmas in it's most commercial and most crass form is invading these countries bringing the worst and best of western civilization to people.
I know that Christmas is big in China . Believe me, I'm not a big fan of Christmas in it's pagan roots, in it's non birth of Christ foundation, in it's excess. But there is a witness in it all. Place your cursor over the dancing Santas.
Last night after Church Pastor Byrd and I were praying for a woman and a little girl who, if it were a Christmas story of salvation of a person under the Christmas tree, you would have thought we made it up. I don't know what will happen, but I have hope. I hope to see her hopeful, filled with joy, escaping fear and confident in her future. That's what the Christmas Carol Story was all about. Ghosts that haunt us and Spirits that give us Hope.
Maybe the common thread even in a commercial Christmas celebration has a worldwide bridge building effect of giving us a common foundation to dialogue from. And one dialogue I would like to have is, Why is there Christmas at all?
I think I might just be ready to give an answer for the hope that is within me.
Have A VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS