Advent conflictions


Awake at 2:30am, because of a 4 year old in my bed: bad dream. His tossing and turning ensure that sleep eludes me. Thoughts begin to spin in my head…

It’s 2:30am and I’m thinking of going to Walmart because they are open 24 hours per day. I need to return a gift I picked up on an errand run, just in case I couldn’t find what I was actually looking for. But then, they claim to be open for my shopping convenience but probably not returns on a cold, blustery night. Still, I’m tempted to go, just to see who is shopping at 3am. Are there really people with Christmas lists in hand, making the rounds at this hour of the night?

I’m just trying to squeeze more time out of the 24 hours that God gives me. Why? Because I feel stressed about not having everything done yet.

There is a conflict ongoing inside me. On one hand, I rebel against the shopping culture. I rebel against the craziness of consumerism. I avoid malls like the plague normally. I don’t want to be out there amidst the throng who desperately search for that perfect gift.

Because the perfect gift was given, over 2000 years ago: a baby in a manger.

That’s what I wish to proclaim. And by joining the crushing crowds in stores, I am not standing against consumerism, the way I wish to …. I am a participant. Is this the way that Jesus wants me to celebrate his birthday?

I want Advent to be different. And yet what I have seen in the past week is my time spent, not with Jesus, not on my knees, but in the stores. I haven’t taken time to talk to God a lot this week, but I have pounded the floors of Zellers, Walmart, Value Village, HomeSense, Toys R Us, dollar stores in order to find gifts for my little ones. All in the name of … what? Love?

I know that things do not buy happiness. And we do try to keep things simple around here. But still, there is something about that child’s wide-eyed talk with Santa at the mall, and the wish conveyed in all belief that the man in red will grant that one wish, that spur me to action.

These links below give good pause for thought:

Advent Conspiracy

What would Jesus want for his birthday?

I just wish that I could have my actions more accurately reflect the beliefs in my heart.



One response »

  1. With three young sons of my own, I am in the same boat. I hate the consumerism that surrounds Christmas but get caught up every year against my will. Nice read.

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