My coworker S recently told me this story: A woman is shopping with her two children. It's the last weekend before Christmas, the malls are crowded, it's getting late, the kids are hungry and whining and fussing, and she's getting more and more frustrated with the whole experience. She's almost done, and she's struggling to get to the elevator with both kids and all her bags and her sanity. It is not going well.
The elevator is late, and when it finally comes, it's almost full, so there's barely enough room for the three of them and their bags, but they squeeze in. But by this time, the woman has had it, and all her frustration comes spewing forth, and she vents to the crowded elevator, "I don't know whose idea this whole holiday thing was, but whoever they are, they ought to be crucified!"
Behind her in the back of the elevator, a person pipes up: "He was."
Sometimes in the rush of the whole Christmas season, it's easy to lose sight of what's really important. We're so busy running around trying to get everything done -- all the baking, the shopping, the decorating -- that we forget why we're actually celebrating in the first place. That this day -- December 25 -- is, first and foremost, a birthday celebration. And that in a time when we are all supposed to be thinking about giving to others, we should all stop to think about the ultimate gift that was given to us -- Jesus.