It’s the most wonderful time of the year. Christmas is almost here! Of course you really didn’t need me to tell you that as just about every place you turn there are reminders that the Holiday Season is upon us. Almost every store, home, television channel and billboard seems to have some Christmas message attached to it. We find ourselves telling people Merry Christmas at the end of our sentences and listening to Christmas music during our daily commutes. Christmas is definitely in the air.
And it’s no surprise that we “feel” Christmas around us. The retailers certainly did their job to jump out sooner than usual to get the holiday spirit in us all. Every year it seems as if Christmas decorations start popping up in stores earlier and earlier than before. We’ve also experienced new shopping times for the infamous Black Friday shopping day. Instead of the typical 5 or 6am mad dash for deals, we now have options for midnight madness shopping. I have to admit that my girls and I were some of those compelled to stand out in the cold at Toys R Us late in the midnight hour to get our hands on the “deals of the century”. What can I say…I’m a GeGe for life!!
With all of the great things that Christmas brings, it’s also a sad truth that the holidays bring a lot of grief and sadness to people. Whether it’s because of loneliness or regret of past decisions that have alienated people from their families, Christmas seems to amplify feelings and emotions in people that they have managed to suppress for the other eleven months of the year. Families who are financially struggling find themselves depressed because they are unable to provide the kind of gifts that they would like to for their family. Yes…Christmas is almost here!
From a Christian’s perspective, Christmas is also supposed to be so much more than just presents, toys and “stuff”. It is, of course the day in which we remember the birth of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. It is how we reflect on the sacrifice that Jesus made to take off his divinity and wrap himself in humanity so that ultimately we could be reconciled back to God.
We give gifts to each other on Christmas as a symbol to honor the fact that when Jesus came to Earth, it was the greatest gift we could have ever received.
No matter what situation you find yourself in this Christmas I want to challenge you to keep your heart in the right place. If you are running at breakneck speed this year, buying more and more, going from function to function and party to party make sure that you take the time to slow down and reflect on what Christmas really means to you. Don’t just fill everyone’s stocking this year and forget to fill your own heart with the love of Christ. Be kind to people, be generous to people and for heaven’s sake…SMILE! There are so many hurting people walking past you every day, especially during Christmas, that need to feel the love of Christ simply through your warm touch or kind word.
If you find yourself depressed this year, I am giving you permission right now to not be. I’m sure there are areas in your life that you wish could be better but letting depression set in will never solve the problem. You have to trust in the fact that God will give you a strategy for your life and keep hope alive that by this time next year, things WILL be better.
Let’s not overcomplicate the holiday and make it more than what it is supposed to be. It’s really quite simple:
“And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. (Luke 2:10-11)”
This Christmas season, make it matter by making your heart His Bethlehem. You will discover that Jesus is the gift that gives and gives and will never stop giving!
PS. I wanted to thank all of you that took the time to donate to our annual Christmas Toy Drive. As a result of your generosity we were able to help deliver hundreds of toys to various area Children’s Hospitals and other youth outreaches. I sincerely THANK YOU!
I’ve posted a couple of pictures below to show you our efforts. We can do great things for the kingdom together!