Are you excited yet about Christmas? Are you looking forward to all the fun and festivities that accompany the holiday season? This is a great time of year. School will soon be dismissed for a couple of weeks so kids are thrilled. Decorations cover houses, stores, and civic buildings. Favorite recipes for all manner of sweets are being prepared. People are thinking of what gifts to buy that loved ones will enjoy. Old friends and family members send cards back and forth, some sweet, some funny, some with the latest family photos, and some that touch hearts deeply. Trips are being planned. Parties are soon to begin. Did I mention the sweet treats? Oh, it is a wonderful time of year.
Or is it so wonderful? The same activities that to some cause great excitement and joy to others cause anxiety, frustration, and WORK. Lots of work! Some will become a bundle of frazzled nerves before the first present is opened. What should I get Aunt Susie? Does Uncle Joe like Old Spice? Why do Christmas tree lights work for everyone else but me? With all the joy of the season, there are also those for whom this time of year is one filled with sadness, despair, and grief over lost loved ones.
Whatever your take on the whole thing, there is something we can all focus on this time of year. This is when we celebrate the birth of Christ. It may be cliched to say but it is true nonetheless, He is the reason for the season. Jesus was not born so that your kids could get a new iPod. He did not come into this world so that Macy's, JC Penney, Wal-Mart, etc. could have a Red Day Blue Light Rollback special from 4 AM until noon the day after Thanksgiving. He came to seek and save that which was lost. He came for you. And for me.
Jesus gave us the best example of gift giving by simply giving Himself. I know you are going to shop for presents. I am too. But let us not forget to give the best gift this Christmas. Give yourself and your time to those around you. This really is a great time of year. I pray that Christmas for you is filled with love and joy rather than anxiety and heartache.
From me and my family to you and to yours, Merry Christmas to all and to all a .......goodnight, where is that wrapping tape? Will someone please get the cat out of the Christmas tree before it chews the light cord again? Brandon will you stop asking when.........