Keep it Simple, Santa
By Chaplain Joseph Eggleston, 439th Airlift Wing
/ Published November 21, 2012
WESTOVER AIR RESERVE BASE, Mass. -- I have a game for you to play. It's a Christmas game -- if that's your tradition -- or any winter holiday will do. Your goal, between now and December 25th, is to gather up more stuff, commit to a longer list of parties and places to be, and ring up more debt than everyone else in the game. As the winner, your friends will stand amazed at your social prowess, and wonder enviously about your apparent success.
Your winner's trophy will be the prizeworthy portfolio of R.S.V.P.'s, To-Do's, and IOU's that you accumulated. You will then enjoy the aftermath of stress, lost sleep, and credit card bills commensurate with your victory; congratulations.
Now, does anyone really want to play this game?
Asked another way, does it seem worth it to have that kind of holiday, given the peace and enjoyment you lose in the process? From that perspective, it seems easy to dismiss the lure of the holiday shuffle. Year after year, though, the temptation to over-spend and over-commit rears its ugly head. Now, for many of us, the strained economy is forcing us away from our old habits, leaving us with less stress overall.
So, whether you choose to enjoy a simpler holiday out of necessity, or by conscious choice, it yields a dual benefit. First, the anxious aftermath is greatly reduced. But secondly, and perhaps even more importantly, this leaves more time to spend with loved ones, and the experiences we hope to share. With the clutter removed, we're free to focus on what is really important.
My Christmas wish for you is a peaceful, refreshing time that you will want to remember. I expect to be in church three days in a row (Sunday the 23rd, Christmas Eve, and Christmas Day), and God willing, to spend every other moment with my family. I pray that you are equally and abundantly blessed in your holiday observance.
Soli Deo Gloria.