By Josh Mitchell
Corinth Today News Editor
I intend to make Christmas more meaningful this year.
We all know where intentions lead.
But seriously, I am going to try to focus more on what Christmas is really about.
The insidious stress of Christmas is starting to build with TV messages about the number of shopping days left — 28 DAYS!
I think it is important to shop for thoughtful gifts for loved ones, don’t get me wrong. I firmly believe in supporting local businesses and know they have many great gifts.
I do not think I am alone this year in wanting to put more of the true meaning back into Christmas. I have heard many parents with young children talk about giving fewer gifts this year. Parents such as myself and others realize that the goal is to not cover every nook and cranny under the Christmas tree when children already have so many toys.
I have mentioned in this column before that 17 percent of the population of Alcorn County, including numerous children, live in poverty. I think children should get a few gifts, but going over the top with an overabundance of toys, clothes and other items sends the wrong message to children. This is a time of year when we can send the right message, which is to embrace an attitude of giving and love, just as Jesus Christ modeled to the world.
Believe me, I am not painting myself as some saint. Year after year I have devoted too much thought to the secular side of the holiday and not enough on the birth of Jesus Christ and what he did for the world. Jesus Christ is the greatest leader the world has ever known. I challenge someone to name a better one.
Christ loved everyone, including the poor, the isolated, the depressed, the lonely and the outcasts, and he also associated with them and forgave his persecutors as he died on the cross. That is the God I want to worship, not an elitist one.
So as Advent begins this Sunday, now is the perfect time to direct our focus to Christ and put the real meaning of Christmas in the forefront. If we do this, I think the secondary, secular side of Christmas, which is also important, especially for children, will also take on more meaning.
I’m all for Ralphie and the BB Gun, “It’s a Wonderful Life,” “Scrooge,” egg nog, Santa Claus, Rudolph and singing Santa songs with my 3-year-old. While I love songs such as “Santa Claus is Coming to Town” and “Frosty the Snowman,” the old Christmas hymns, especially “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing,” are unbeatable. I also have fond memories from childhood of listening to a Christmas album by the band Alabama on a cassette player in my dad’s truck. The band Smashing Pumpkins even has a good Christmas song.
Oftentimes, even special seasons like Christmas can fall into another pattern and part of the normal cycle of a year. How often do we hear that a store is “already putting out the Christmas stuff” or “It is not even Thanksgiving and Christmas commercials are already on TV.” And then there are also those Hallmark Christmas movies with those impossible-to-predict plots.
So it goes . . .
All of this is fun stuff, but Jesus gave our lives a real plot, and he is the best director of all time. Let’s make him the star this Christmas.