Christmas is coming!
For different people that means different things.
i like to start referring to myself as ‘The Grinch’ as Christmas approaches, but it’s not entirely true.
In a similar way to how i claim to hate meetings but spend my life creating them [the truth is i can’t stand meetings for the sake of meetings – but gathering people for worthwhile conversations and transformational creativity? LOVE those and will continue to make them happen] it is more the selfish me-focused debaucherous stuff about Christmas that i can’t stant [and often fall prey to – ask me thirty minutes into a Christmas meal]
So much so that last year i wrote this great post, ‘There is no ‘U’ in Christmas’ as well as this follow-up titled, ‘Open Letter to Brett “Fish” Anderson about Christmas and the End of the Year’ in which i challenged myself to 6 things:
 Don’t stuff your face.
 Don’t hate outwardly on the Christmas Carols
 Christmas on Strangers
 Do a Stock Take of 2014
 Date your wife
 Just get that flippin tattoo already.
Which clearly i paid some attention to, because i don’t remember being overly stuffed after Christmas dinner last year, we literally just had a conversation last night about how we can Christmas for strangers this year, i did the stock take, i dated my wife a whole lot… and of course it took me less than a month to get this guy:
So take a look at both of those posts quickly, but also here we go again.
In the smallest of nutshells, i really don’t hate Christmas, but i do wish we could all do it a lot better. Especially as a person who falls within the top 3 % of the world’s wealthiest people [Seriously, if that surprises you or you think i made that up as a joke, do a little research] – if you have access to a car and are reading this on a computer or smart phone and have access to running water and have a flush toilet in your house, these are some of the signs that it is you as well.
WE DON’T NEED MORE STUFF
As someone who just got to see on a Skype call last night some of the [mostly books] Christmas gifts our Oakland housemates are bringing over for us that we ordered online from Americaland, the ironical hypocracy is not lost on me. But the truth is still true. We don’t NEED more stuff. i don’t and i imagine you don’t.
But we know someone who does. Or we can easily find them if we don’t know them. In South Africa it’s usually as quick and easy as driving to the nearest traffic light.
And if it’s not someone who is poor there is a person in church or at the office or in our school or sports team who we can pretty solidly guess is likely to be spending Christmas alone. How about at the very least we invite a stranger to our dinner table? Or have a table filled with strangers?
How about we carefully consider what we pay to the woman who cleans our house or looks after our children? [and move from paying minimum wage to a living wage, which by the way doesn’t make us generous as much as it makes us a little less of a douche]. How about we decide to support some or all of the study expenses of someone we know who comes from a previously disadvantaged family for the following year?
And 100 other great suggestions, but please, for the love of not being a grinch, LET’S DO SOMETHING!
i hope to have a blog post soon that will share some ideas of creative ways we can look outside of ourselves this Christmas time so please contribute to that list in the comments section with ideas or links to people already doing stuff.
And lastly, ‘Christians’ in Americaland, stop that nonsense about the red Starbucks coffee cups, seriously. If you save up the money you spend at Starbucks in one year, you could more than likely put someone through college so why not get activist on that for a moment. Pick better fights, seriously, you’re embarrassing the rest of us.
May this season be an INCREDIBLE TIME of celebrating with family, both those you know and those you don’t yet, may it be a time of looking outwards and embracing the stranger and those who may be alone or hurting, may it be a time of spitting in the face of the commercialism that says ‘You need this’ or ‘You have to have that’ and may it be a time of insane creativity that starts to set up new traditions, maybe even pulling in friends and family to help you with them, that will make this time a better time for everyone everywhere.
If you have the opportunity, how about Host a Refugee Family for Christmas lunch?
And lastly, for those of us who do follow Jesus, Christmastime is a special time to remember that the most creative God came Himself to live among us and show us that living well is completely possible and within our reach… that drawing in those considered the least of these, that speaking the Truth in Love and that loving ones enemies and chasing after treasures [of investment in relationships with people] that do not rust and cannot be stolen are all things which we can and should be doing day in and day out, not just at Christmastime. Even if He wasn’t really born on December 25…
Merry Grinchmas everybody. Let’s make this a good one!