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Antique Holiday
By Joanne Malley

Ahhh, the holidays! There’s shopping, baking, wrapping, eating (excuse me – too much eating!), and gifts. There’s crowded malls, family get-togethers, Christmas trees, and…yum – sweet, luscious apple pie and chocolate chip cookie dough! Oh, my – did I forget Santa Claus?

Speaking of good ol’ jolly St. Nick … how old do you suppose he is? Just old? A relic? An antique? Ancient? Let’s not even ponder. He’s as ageless as our love for him.

The thought of him warms my heart. He’s an endearing character with a gentle spirit, lovable nature and joyful attitude. I won’t leave out those adorable, red, rosy cheeks or jelly belly – they’re exactly what make him look "jolly." After all these years, he’s still gets an open invitation into our homes through our dirty, dusty fireplaces. And, he still comes back for more…go figure!

I certainly haven’t forgotten the true meaning of Christmas as I bantered on about Santa though. How could I?

First and foremost, our Savior was born. He’s the reason for the season! My own beautiful manger scene with baby Jesus is on display for our holiday festivities. Year after year, it provides our family with a visual reminder of God’s unfailing love.

But, I think jolly ol’ St. Nick may have a small place in our celebrations since he is capable of reminding us of the valuable traits of selflessness, generosity and the love of Christ. Hopefully, some of these characteristics can find their way into the hearts of us all, especially during Christmas time which is the season of true giving.

Now, wouldn’t the holiday season be jollier if we could spread our generosity, our selflessness and our love to more "antique" people?

It’s not often people are referred to as antiques, but in a collector’s world, anything over 75 years is considered one. Certainly people can be referred to as the same. Besides, who enjoys being called old?

I think people of the antique generation possess so many special qualities. They entertain us with their personal stories and memories of the olden days. They’re as knowledgeable as the Encyclopedia Britannica, and are usually able to recall the most interesting events without referring to a single volume.

What about their amazing insight? They’ve been around so long, that they’ve had plenty of time to experience so much. If we listen closely to their advice, they can save us from many future pitfalls.

I believe we need to thank them and remember them in a special way; whoever they are, whether they are our grandmother, neighbor or acquaintance from church.

Let’s keep in mind that some of our "antique" friends may be lonely, unloved or completely forgotten. The holidays offer the perfect time for us to exercise our own generosity by giving of ourselves. I believe God would want us to seek out lonely souls so we can share the love of Christ, share the wonder of Christmas and share our hearts with some of his antique children.

Now, I realize that not all older people are lovable, friendly or even fun to be around. I especially know that many little old ladies are into that cheek-pinching thing. Mine are permanently scarred from my grandmother! Just keep your face on guard, but stay close enough to let them know you care.

Imagine what just a few hours or moments of our time can do. Why not consider sharing an afternoon stroll, the holiday meal or a simple cup of tea? Not only will it warm your insides, but it’ll warm your heart as well. Perhaps the least we can do is share a smile. Job 29:24 states, "When they were discouraged, I smiled at them. My look of approval was precious to them." (NLT)

Let the Holy Spirit lead you, for when he resides in your heart, it is easy for you to share. Galatians 5:22 states, "But when the Holy Spirit controls our lives, he will produce this kind of fruit in us … kindness." (NLT)

Let’s not get wrapped up (excuse the pun!) in all the unnecessary materialistic entrapments of the season. Instead, let’s try to remember the true meaning of Christmas as we look above for what God truly wants us to see.

Now, go string your popcorn and, for the last time, lay off the cookie dough! Did you forget your grandmother’s warning about those raw eggs? Remember, those "antique" people have great advice!

Ho, ho, ho! Have a wonderful Antique Holiday!
Joanne is a wife and also a mother of two children living in New Jersey. Her love for writing ignites a desire to touch, inspire and sometimes offer a bit of humor to her readers. She has been published in Cross-Times and is also a contributing writer for Sisters In the Lord. You can find more of Joanne’s writing at http://www.faithwriters.com/member-profile.php?id=6433

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