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by Kenzie
Rated: ASR · Article · Holiday · #294615
Are you an advertisement for a fat guy in a red suit or for a babe lying in a manger?
Sharing Christmas
(or Fat Guy in a Red Suit)
by Marilyn Mackenzie

Are you an advertisement for a fat guy in a red suit or for a babe lying in a manger?

I used to be a regional director for Christmas Around the World, a home party sales company. Although I struggled with the commercialism of Christmas, there were things I loved about that job. I enjoyed helping other women discover their creative talents and abilities. More importantly, I enjoyed being able to share the joy and the spirit and the true meaning of Christmas all year long.

This job helped me in two ways. I learned to be a confident speaker, which eventually led me to train as a lay speaker in my church. The sales and presentation skills I learned and taught to others transferred to other sales opportunities.

What I truly miss, though, are the opportunities I had to speak with groups of women, from as few as three to as many as 300, about the meaning of Christmas, about family traditions, and about God. Perhaps the Internet has offered another avenue for me. I've also recently rediscovered my love of writing!

Today women are busier than ever before! Isn't that ironic, considering the many tools we have to make our lives easier? My mother had a wringer washer and washing took an entire day. Clothing was made of cotton, which wrinkled, and ironing was something that also occupied wash day. Today we have automatic washers, our clothing is made of non-wrinkling materials, and we wouldn't even consider ironing sheets! We have microwave ovens for faster cooking, mixers and blenders and food processors. Yet, our lives are so much busier.

Whether one is a mother working outside the home or one of the growing number of stay-at-home moms, women are busier than ever before. Many stay-at-home moms have taken on the role of educator in home schools. We are so busy.

But, what mustn't be lost in our busyness is learning about the rich traditions of our own families and of our country. Our children and grandchildren need to learn about those former traditions. And, it's important that we start new traditions that fit into our busy lives.

I felt so sorry for one neighborhood child recently when I asked what she and her family usually did at Christmas time. She looked so confused by that question and had no answer. Her family had no traditions. What will that child have to remember about Christmas except the gifts that she received? She won't have memories of attending Christmas Eve worship service with her family, of visiting nursing homes, or of Christmas caroling, because none of these activities were part of her Christmas. She'll remember a fat guy in a red suit. And she will remember Christmas as a time of receiving instead of a time of giving.

I think it's important for grandmas to write a book about their memories of Christmases past to give as gifts to their grandchildren. Mothers and grandmothers need to join together to introduce new traditions into their families. Even busy moms can buy frozen cookie dough at the grocery, cookie cutters and Christmas sprinkles. Christmas music should resound through our homes as we decorate and make gifts. The only TV programs or videotapes we should watch during the Christmas season are the wonderful Christmas stories of old.

After making cookies, why not deliver them to your neighbors and nursing homes. Save Christmas cards to make ornaments and give them away. Isn't it time that we teach our children the gift of giving rather than receiving? And, if our children's friends have parents who are not sharing like experiences, why not include them in your festivities?

It is so important that our children learn the true meaning of Christmas. They need to understand that we are celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ. And this lesson needs to be shared: What would happen if it was your birthday and your friends and family ignored you completely and exchanged gifts with each other? How would that make you feel? How do you think Jesus feels when we exchange gifts and forget that we are celebrating his birthday? Shouldn't we be giving gifts to our Lord? What kinds of gifts can we give to Jesus this year for his birthday?

Jesus is the reason for the season! Without him, there is no such thing as Christmas!

Are you an advertisement for a fat guy in a red suit or for a babe lying in a manger?
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