Ralphie. Not a Christmas season goes by when A Christmas Story doesn’t play for 24 hours a day on some cable station. This movie was one of the staples of my childhood. In fact, I remember when my 4th grade teacher, Mrs. Moorehouse, nearly pulled the plug on it when she was surprised by the “fudge” scene. She called David P. up to her desk and reprimanded him for bring in a questionable movie.
I also remember Ralphie’s unwavering mission to get to the lap of Santa so that he could register his Christmas wish- a Red Rider BB Gun.
Just like Ralphie, kids all over America are registering their Christmas wishes, but the lists seem to be getting longer and more expensive. Beyond the “normal” list of action figures, Legos, and Barbies comes a new:
- game system
- upgraded phone
Last night while my husband and I were shopping I noticed all the overstuffed shopping carts and wondered how many of those people were going into debt to make their child’s Christmas wish come true. I wondered how many of those kids have no appreciation for earning money or what those items will cost their parents. I wondered how many parents are driven by guilt to meet the material wants of their children because they aren’t meeting their spiritual and emotional needs.
Kids aren’t really to blame. I mean they are KIDS and the bible says, “Foolishness is bound up in the heart of a child” (Prov. 22:15). Who can blame them for trying to win the lottery every December 25th? No, the problem speaks more to the heart of us grown-ups who feel the need to deliver on all the whims of our children.
So what’s the big deal? I think the big deal is we are raising a generation of materialistic, ungrateful children who are oblivious to the plight of others. We share the planet with people who can’t afford basic medicine, daily portions of food, clean water, or healthy living conditions and we want the latest techno gadget.
But it’s even deeper than that. Our hearts are longing for something deeper. Our hearts are longing for something real, something eternal, a relationship with God. But in his place we fill our stuff.
It’s not just the world. I wonder if we Christ followers have forgotten that our call is to do everything to the glory of Jesus. “Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus” (Col. 3:17). Whatever we celebrate. Whatever we buy. Whatever give. Whatever we ask for should be in the name of the Lord Jesus.
So my hope for our family this Christmas is that we take a step back and reevaluate how to really bring joy to the season- life in Jesus Christ.
For the world offers only a craving for physical pleasure, a craving for everything we see, and pride in our achievements and possessions. These are not from the Father, but are from this world. 1 John 2:16
Happy are those who hear the joyful call to worship, for they will walk in the light of your presence, Lord.Psalm 89:15