The doors swing open wide, and I head into the post office, with the cool breeze trailing, to mail off my latest article. With no waiting line, it’s going to be a good day. Yes! I just feel it.
“Do you need stamps today?” the lady asks.
Do I need…? “Yes, I do.”
“What kind?” She displays several … gingerbread houses, ornaments.
“I’ll take the Christmas ornaments,” I cheerily say, with a smile. They’re cute—red, green, and blue dangly things. And with all the Hallmark Christmas love movies my daughter’s been recording and forcing upon me, Christmas is definitely in the air surrounding my merry heart.
The lady corrects me. “They’re Holiday Baubles,” she sternly says, without a smile.
I’m not quick on my toes. And suddenly I’m reduced to wondering if I’ve been calling them the wrong name all along. Like I’ve done something wrong. I walk out, my soul deflated. Confused.
The more I think about it, sitting in the car and gripping the steering wheel till my knuckles whiten, the more saddened and confused I feel. The bitter mixture stirs and stirs in my heart and gut, pleading for Rolaids. Some type of relief. Some type of salvation.
I look closer …
When I arrive home, I look up the word “bauble” in the dictionary. I’m 40+ years old, and I’m not sure I’ve ever heard that word before. Okay, so maybe I’m not as worldly as others. But I think I know what a Christmas ornament looks like.
“Bauble” is actually a Middle English word, from Old French. Even The Free Dictionary on-line gets it right by stating this:
Most might say not to make a big deal about it. It’s just stamps. Lady, it’s just stamps. Come on. Get Real.
And nothing is wrong with the word “holiday” or “bauble” …
But I’ve been corrected. That’s the heart of the issue.
You won’t say Christmas, you’ll say holiday.
And it hurt my heart. Her words, attitude, hurt my heart. Yeah, O Soul Within, it hurts, and the pain is real. It’s one thing to be imposed upon … sanctions imposed on our hearts … we tend to expect impositions these days …
Don’t you love Jesus. Don’t you pray. Don’t you trust Him. Don’t you tell anyone if you do. And don’t you share Him. Don’t ask, don’t tell policy. And if you’re asked, you better deny … if you want to live.
But in the Bible Belt? It hurts to see the belt loosening. And it appears to have definitely been loosened a notch or two. And still the weight above that belt is lopping over onto people, individuals, hearts …
The very omission reduces Christmas to a mere trinket of little value; trifle. It mocks everything God did for us—the miraculous Luke 2 wonder of the world, Jesus, the Son, virgin birth, becoming the God-man. It says that Christ—surrendering everything to come to this earth, sacrificing more than we’ll ever know, to exchange Heaven for us, to be born in a lowly manger, to live for us, to fight for us, to die for us … for our sin—means nothing. The miracle is trifle.
It smugly yet naively says, “What miracle?”
The very act says that “Christmas” is not worth mentioning—
A first class love means nothing.
The miracle of Christmas reduces from a God-man Day to a mere man-made day.
With the chaos and violence—hardships, need—that woefully weave the frayed fragments of our world, when empty eyes and empty hearts and empty stomachs are desperate for salvation, reaching out with empty hands … there has never been more a time to keep Christ in Christmas. To keep Christmas in Christmas. To look for the miracles.
O Soul Within, some things are black and white. What will you allow to forever stick on your heart’s wall? Be careful what you let stick on your heart’s wall.
O Soul Within, you may feel powerless. But remember God’s power and what you can do—
~Remember to pray.
~Remember what you really need—Jesus’ first class love. Forever.
~Remember Christ in Christmas, keep Him there, let truth nestle into your heart forever and ever.
~Remember to impart Him to your children.
~Remember that you have it right. Don’t get used to the wrong. Getting used to the wrong doesn’t make it right.
~And as long as you have a voice, O Soul Within, remember to say, with every Christ-given privilege and right …
This video has ministered to my heart all week long … I hope it ministers to you, as well …
*How do you safeguard your heart from subtle changes and stealth arrows continually thrown? Can you add to the list? What do you say? What do you remind your self?
10 thoughts on “When Christmas Ornaments Become Holiday Baubles”
Thoughtful post, Shelli. Loved your picture of the loosening belt. We know the Gospel is offensive, but there was once a time when it only bothered people if we shoved it at them. Now we can't even use a word with Christ in it. I think we need to remind ourselves that we know the Truth and we're following the One Who has already won the victory. We need to look on those who have been constrained to call Christmas ornaments 'holiday baubles' with compassion. They need to know what–and Who–we know. Let's give them heartfelt smiles and a rousing “Merry Christmas!”
Aww, Becky … that's beautiful. Yes, look on with compassion. Love. I think I've been so spoiled … I've spent years hearing the Christmas vs. holiday debate … and only now has it hit me up close and personal. I wasn't expecting that really. We are so blessed, when you see what Christians are enduring across the globe. You always bless me.
It honestly doesn't bother me too much – it's just evidence that we're living in Babylon. I'd rather know the truth, rather than be given the feel-good scraps we've been given for so long, which culminated in the desire to be 'nice' and which resulted in the election of the current administration.
The fact is that those who would have the US become a legally secular nation have an agenda, and that includes morally disarming Christians by using their own principles of forbearance against them. We're expected to always turn the other cheek, and when we speak out against deliberate insult (such as the use of the word 'bauble') or discrimination, it's presented as proof that we're really NOT Christians.
Seems to me that the way to change this is to get involved, vote, and not change the face of Christianity – to reject the “walk all over us and we'll enjoy it” philosophy, and to expel the “send us a love gift and God will give you your miracle” moneychangers who make us look both pathetic and venal.
It took time to sink this far. It will take longer to climb back out, but starting later only means we'll finish later.
Oh, yes, Andrew. You gave me goose bumps. “It took time to sink this far” … yes, it did. Thank you. You always make me think … make me climb that ladder a little higher. 🙂
The supposed emphasis on calling it a “Holiday Season” instead of “Christmas” is to make the season “all inclusive.” Everybody can take part and no one gets their feathers ruffled. The truth is that the birth of a Savior is a not so welcomed reminded that people live in a state of sinfulness and are in need of salvation. That’s not such a jolly thought, especially in the self-serving culture we find ourselves in today. But there is another fact about this season that affects those on both sides of the debate—this season sees the greatest rise in suffering from depression and anxiety than any other time of the year. What a great time for us to be a witness for Christ. So go right ahead and respond with a great big smile and a warm Merry Christmas—they may just be tempted to get what you’ve already got.
Some folks don't want us to mention God or Jesus or Christmas, but they won't hesitate to curse in the name of Jesus or Christ or God. And that, I believe, is far more offensive to us than saying Christmas is to them.
Gene, thank you. Yes, the season can be a lonely time for so many. That reminds me of a scene from the movie, Home Alone. You know … when the kid stands in front of a house's window, seeing all a family together … and he walks home all alone. (If I'm thinking right) I think seeing the gathering makes him sad and sure wipes away all the excitement he felt from being home alone. 🙂 And you've reminded me to be on the lookout for someone needy this month … someone needing a hug, or an encouraging word, or a prayer.
Isn't that the truth. His name will be used … in one way or another. I hadn't thought of that, Terri. It's not okay to use it in a good way, but don't hesitate to use it in a bad way. Yeah … I know what you mean.
Shelli, what a powerful post. Yes, even using reducing words, like “Holiday bauble” denigrates the amazing, beautiful gift Jesus gave us when He exchanged Immortal for mortality. We do need to defend our beliefs—in action, and in words. We mustn't shrink away from the gift God has given all mankind. Not that we shove Christianity in peoples' faces, but that we love well, uncompromising in what we believe, and we reflect Jesus whenever He gives us opportunity. Loved your post, Shelli.
“Shrink away” … Jeanne, that's how I felt when I walked out of the post office. It was a huge lesson for me … preparation … I hope to be prepared next time, if there is a next time. Probably will be a next time. 🙂 I felt like a student and my teacher was reprimanding me. 🙂