Here are a few things I learned this Christmas. And I promise, this is my last Christmas post this year. Maybe.
1. I stink. Roughly 1/3 of the gifts that I received were items designed to make me smell better. I received two different types of Tim McGraw cologne from my wife: McGraw and McGraw-Southern Blend. I like them both and have used them both. My singing hasn’t improved yet, but I’m sure it’s only a matter of time. I also received a combo pack of Axe deodorant/shampoo/body wash/spray from my wife’s sister and a bottle of manly body wash from some friends (if there is such a thing as manly body wash). What was the message behind all of this smell-good stuff? Your odor is repulsive–Merry Christmas!
2. A Christmas Story is overrated. No, not The Christmas story about the birth of Jesus. That one is still the best. I mean the movie about Ralphie Parker’s quest to get a “Red Ryder carbine-action, two hundred shot Range Model air rifle with a compass in the stock and a thing which tells time” for Christmas. I used to love this movie when fewer people knew about it, like I was in on a cool Christmas secret. This was before TBS started showing it for 24 hours straight. Now I see it as just another Christmas movie; nothing special, nothing cool. Yes, I still say “Fra-jill-ay, it must be Italian” whenever I see the word “fragile” and often sing Deck the Halls like the guys in the Chinese restaurant. But the movie is still overrated.
3. A white Christmas is pretty neat. Of course this is coming from a guy who lives in an area where this rarely occurs. If I had to see snow almost every other day during the winter, it probably wouldn’t be as neat. In fact, I would probably go insane. Not like talking-to-myself insane, more like fighting-invisible-villains-with-weapons-made-of-jello insane. I had a similar reaction when I tried to watch Twilight. Edward Cullen is so pale that he is almost translucent. I’m amazed that so many young girls are enamored with him. He’s no A.C. Slater or Zach Morris. He’s more like Screech. Amazing.
4. Shopping for jewelry turns me into a mamby, pamby jackwagon. Everybody has a “thing.” Some are blessed enough to have several “things.” Shopping for jewelry is not one of my “things.” I began my hunt for one of Kristy’s presents with enthusiasm and quickly transformed into an intimidated, wide-eyed child with hives beginning to form all over my body. I nearly hyperventilated. It was horrible. I learned some valuable lessons for the next time I want to buy jewelry. Lesson #1: don’t try to buy jewelry.
5. My gift-wrapping skills have improved. I once gave a friend a gift wrapped in aluminum foil. An upside: no tape was require. A downside: it was wrapped in aluminum foil. Now I can wrap gifts in real wrapping paper with tape all by myself. I would mention that I am quite proud of myself for this, but I know that pride goes before destruction. I really don’t want this to happen to me. So instead, I’ll just mention that I’m glad my wrapping skills have improved with the hope that destruction doesn’t follow gladness, too.
6. I really love my family. I learned this a long time ago, but it is usually re-inforced during Christmas. I love my wife; she is radiant and complicated and compassionate and kind. I love Noelle, Bradley, Jonathan, Matthew, and Mary Hope; they are blessings that God uses to transform me as he leads me to help form them. I love my parents, my ugly brother and his family, my in-laws, and all the rest of the folks with whom I am related. We are strange at times and have moments when we are as dysfunctional as everyone else’s family, but we love each other. And love covers a multitude of sins, even when you’re related.
7. Jesus is still worthy of adoration. Not just at Christmas. Not just at Easter. Not just when things are going well. Jesus is an everyday Savior worthy of every day adoration. Creator. Sustainer. Redeemer. King. He is who everyone needs.
The last one is the most important one. Really, it is the only one with eternal significance. I hope you know this. If not, take a fresh look at Jesus; at his compassion, at his love. Hopefully you will see that it is true.
And for one last time this year–Merry Christmas! I know it’s a few days late, but I just can’t help it. Getting over Christmas is not one of my “things” either.
(This list is probably missing a few good things, so help me out. What are some things you learned this Christmas?)