We watched a show last night about people vying to win a prize for the most outstanding Christmas decorations in their house and yard. To say I was flabbergasted is putting it mildly. Two million lights? Hundreds of Disney cutouts? Eight acres of lights and scenes?
Some people take Christmas much too seriously. Even though they say it's "fun" it looked to me like months of hard work just to make their neighbors smile.
Or snarl, if you'd like to sleep at night and can't what with the flashing colored lights and Christmas carols blared out over a loudspeaker.
Another sign of overload is people going into debt for their foreseeable future by buying 52-inch televisions and the latest electronic game players for their kids.
Is this what Christmas has come to? Each year has to be bigger, better, and more expensive?
I challenge you to remember the best Christmas gift you ever received as a child. Maybe something stands out, like a new bike or your own radio (assuming you were a child before cell phones and computers).
I can't remember what was under the tree, but I remember the fun we had decorating it. I remember making paper chains with red and green construction paper and paste made of flour and water. And the year we tried to string popcorn using needle and thread and ending up eating most of it.
I remember coming home from school to the warm aroma of cinnamon and ginger and brown sugar, and seeing the cookies laid on a clean towel, waiting to be iced and sprinkled with colored sugar.
I remember leaving church on Christmas Eve and the stars overhead illuminating the snow that crunched under our feet. Diamonds above and below, a better light show than any electric or LED bulbs.
When did celebrating Christmas become a contest?
When did we forget the simplicity of the first Christmas and its setting? No colored lights there, just the rays of a single star.