Tuesday, December 19, 2006

'Tis the season...

I dread this time of year. I used to look forward to Christmas a lot more, it was really different back in the day. A friend of mine was asking me about the thing that was ‘the most’ different about life here and life in Kenya. I said, ‘Christmas is a lot more fun there.’ Maybe that isn’t true for everyone but for me, Christmas was a time of fun and celebration and family. One of my favorite memories from Christmas growing up was putting together Christmas ‘baskets’ with my dad and then delivering them to families we knew. The ‘baskets’ were filled with great stuff like, whole chickens, bags of flour, bags of maize, and little toys for the kids. I remember delivering the ‘baskets’ and the families would be so excited and so grateful, the kids would be thrilled because of the little matchbox cars, dolls and candy. It was really a treat for them and they were always full of gratitude, and we always left them all grinning and waving at their doorsteps.
Christmas to America is about stuff and shopping and spending too much money. At least that’s the way it seems. I don’t like it here. I hate going to get groceries this time of year, people are walking through the isles with frowns and in such a rush you would think a natural disaster were about to take place…but nothing is coming, except for Christmas. I don’t really enjoy going to work either, so many people have come in these last few days in such bad moods, I am serving adults but I feel like I am serving children! They are super impatient and throw temper tantrums if everything doesn’t go their way. (Side note: Next time you are in a restaurant and they are out of what you want, keep in mind that your server is doing his or her job…it’s the kitchen’s job to keep the food stocked…so don’t yell at the server, it’s not their fault.)
Anyhow, with all of the negativity around me it has been hard to get into the ‘Christmas spirit’. A few weeks ago, my roommates made me participate in putting the tree up…I still don’t see the point. Just last week, I rode around in the car with some other friends and we looked at Christmas lights…again…the point? I guess the point of Christmas for many people isn’t to focus on celebrating the greatest gift ever given to man. Maybe it is to spend lots of money on everyone you know, to rush through the month of December and hopefully remember at the end of it all how to use the muscles in their face that make them smile. I hope I never become that kind of an American. I pray that my focus will stay on Christ…not only but especially at Christmas time. I hope that when I have a family of my own, I will portray to them the importance of loving those around me and remember the true reason we celebrate at Christmas.