When the weather starts to cool it seems there is just a natural tendency for me to break out my wood working tools. Something about Christmas time makes me want to build something for those I love.
It has been this way since I was 12 years old. I remember that Christmas very well. All around me others were eagerly writing wish lists for Christmas of very expensive toys and gadgets. I was right in there with them! We were looking at glossy catalogs and cool stuff and each night my dreams were filled with new toys. It’s hard not to get caught up in the hustle and bustle. One Sunday a talk in church caused me to stop and look at my own behavior; I felt guilty and ashamed for my own greed and avarice.
My first response is something I can’t say I am proud of—I made a colorful sign to hang in my window. It was my own protest to the commercialism of the season. The sign in fancy lettering read, “Bah Humbug.” My siblings teased me and called me, “Mr. Scrooge.” It wasn’t Christmas I was protesting with my sign, but rather the greed that had consumed me personally. What brought me out of it was making a gift with my own two hands for someone else.
This time of year I often break out my tools to make a gift or two. Something about the process of making a gift always brings me back to the meaning of it all. Somehow it helps me put everything back into focus and put Christ right in the forefront of Christmas where he belongs. Perhaps it helps me because Jesus was a carpenter. Perhaps it’s simply the art of creation that reminds me of the creator of all things.
Last night my son came and told me of a gift he wanted to make for his sisters. It would involve saws, nails, hammers etc. It was the perfect way to get me back on track this season. I am grateful for the chance to get back in touch with the master creator and make something for Christmas.
Feeling lost or frustrated this Christmas season….maybe you should try making a gift for someone you love?