Christmas Craziness

I’ve never shopped for that many people before. I’ve never shopped with that many people before! Sue and I ventured in to Albrook Mall because we heard the big chains were having Christmas sales. We had a list of 122 children to shop for (ages 3 months to 15 years).

The Titan toy section was an absolute zoo! Dazed parents slowly scanned each shelf. Employees madly unpacking boxes and roaring down isles with carts of more … only slightly annoyed by those nuances called customers! Cart traffic was … well, like all Panama traffic. You get the picture. An eight-year-old boy test-drove a rubber ball in and out of customers, stopping just long enough to ask me if I’d buy it for him. Mom came to my rescue. About that time a guy started shopping in my cart. Still, our first foray went well … 55 gifts from one store. We hadn’t thought about how we’d get the five large bags to where they needed to go. My arms are still sore.

The stores got busier as more and more families arrived. Navigating El Costo close to closing was like being part of a giant slider puzzle. You know … this piece must move to the left before the next one can move forward … and the whole picture is horribly scrambled.

Making the entire experience even more lovely was the frenetic music blaring through the store’s speaker system. Four-thousand anxious adults and excited children packed into half a city block evidently don’t make enough noise. Just about the time my right eye began twitching … I tuned into the fact that these were Christmas carols. I still don’t appreciate music that sounds like it was composed by a squirrel hyped up on caffeine … but they were Christian Christmas carols. Wed with the thumping beat, I heard,

Christ, by highest heaven adored, Christ, the everlasting Lord,
late in time behold him come, offspring of the Virgin’s womb:
veiled in flesh the Godhead see; hail th’incarnate Deity,
pleased with us in flesh to dwell, Jesus, our Immanuel.
Hail the heaven-born Prince of Peace! Hail the Sun of Righteousness!
Light and life to all he brings, risen with healing in his wings.
Mild he lays his glory by, born that we no more may die,
born to raise us from the earth, born to give us second birth.
I’m glad I ‘came to’ long enough to find Jesus there in the crazy Christmas crush. I’m glad that He has not left Himself without a witness. Whatever craziness comes your way this season, I pray you’ll be able to do the same.
In your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. 1 Peter 3:15