|Christmas with the Kranks|
Several years ago the movie Christmas with the Kranks, based on the book Skipping Christmas by John Grisham, revealed a humorous look at the hectic activities of Christmas and all that is involved in trying to keep up with the traditions and expectations of other people. Luther and Nora Krank, played by Tim Allen and Jamie Lee Curtis, are a couple who usually spend thousands of dollars on holiday decorations, cards, food, and parties. But this year Luther wants things to be different. He breaks the news to Nora that they are going to skip Christmas because their daughter, Brooke, is not coming home for the holidays. He produces cruise tickets to replace the yearly decorating frenzy.
When they start to become questioned by the neighbors about why the lawn decorations are not out, cards are not ordered, and party invitations not accepted, they start to hide like hermits in a cave because they don’t want friends and neighbors knowing what they are up to. After making excuses and continuing to hide, Luther and Nora receive a phone call informing them their daughter is coming home for the holidays, after all.
Because they had procrastinated with their holiday plans, they have to rush to get the decorations up, the food bought, and the people invited to a Christmas Eve party. In the midst of all this, the couple finds out what really matters. Friends who had ridiculed them only days before were now the ones helping to get everything ready before Brooke's arrival. It didn’t matter the decorations only went up the day before Christmas, or if the right ham was purchased, or if everyone received a holiday card.
This look at the frantic atmosphere of Christmas can remind us that the important things about the holiday are the ones that should shine brighter than the lights we put up and last longer than the leftover fruitcake hardening in the freezer.
|Happy Birthday, Jesus|
I still love to decorate and bake, but years ago I decided to tone down the stress by cutting out the "have-to's" on my list. I simplified gifts, chose the favorites on the menu and left the rest out. We didn't put up outdoor lights unless our son was home to do the work. (After all, they still have to come down, too!). While we know it is Jesus' birthday, I would still sometimes get caught up in all the hubbub and forget to acknowledge Him. We now have a birthday cake for Jesus as one of our desserts and I read some part of the Christmas story every day during December to keep focused on the season.
Your Christmas can be one of peace and love if the one whose birth we celebrate is the one who becomes the most important to your life.
How do you avoid too much holiday hype and stay focused on the King? Share your thoughts and ideas.