Dangers of Christmas – #5

At the beginning of December the Huffington Post featured an article on the 12 dangers of Christmas.  The article focused on fire safety during the holiday season.  They covered everything from your Christmas tree drying out and catching the drapes on fire to burning down your home while preparing your roast beast.
The article got me thinking, what if there were other dangers during Christmas?  What if, aside from falling off your roof while working on your light display and over roasting your chestnuts, there were hidden dangers during the season of advent that most of us overlook.
Over the next 15 days I am going to share my 12 dangers of Christmas.  So here we go,
 kinkade-2009-christmas-chapel-one-art-thomas-gallery-holiday-painting

#5 – asking how someone is doing, if you don’t want an honest answer

On Tuesday night I gathered at Kate’s Irish Pub for our second installment of Pub Theology.  Our conversation was centered around grief and distress during the holidays.  It is my opinion that during the holidays we try to sanitize our lives and display them for all to see as if we live in a Thomas Kinkade painting.  We tell everyone how perfect our lives are, how perfect our jobs are, and how the New Year will be even more perfect.

The problem with this is that for a lot of us, we are full of crap!

The trials and struggles of life do not take a break during the holidays.  Loved ones still get sick and die, relationships are broken, and old wounds are revisited each year when we are reminded that we do not actually live in the picturesque lives we think we do.  For example, each year Christmas is a reminded for my wife and I that our parents are divorced.  Merry Christmas!

If look back to the first Christmas, do we really have the perfect scene we try to portray in our own lives each year?  A pregnant teenage mom who gives birth to her son in a feed trough?

The majority of churches cater to this mentality also?  We offer too many services that have to be perfect in every way.  Perfect music.  Perfect sermon.  Perfect decorations.  We want everyone to have the perfect Christmas experience.

What if this year, we are honest with each other?  What if this year for Christmas we allow our humanity to enter into our Christmas celebrations?  What if we lower our guards, and as we celebrate the birth of Christ we discover where Christ is in the midst of our own chaos and confusion?

 What if when we ask how someone is doing this holiday season we say to ourselves, “holy shit, reengage”, and actually want to hear how they are really doing?