15 Days and Counting

Today is the 10th of December, and it is 15 days until the madness ends and adults around the world can take a deep breath and relax. The shopping chaos will end, and the credit card bills and debt collectors will start rolling in. When did the day we choose to celebrate the birth if our LORD, Jesus Christ, become such a retail mob scene? There are people who make it their mission to have the best and the brightest every year, and others who are determined to get the best deals, no matter how early they have to start or how far they need to go. Price, for still others, is no object, as long as they have the biggest, most glittery, most expensive. When did the celebration of the God of the Heaven’s birth on earth become the season to outshine with lights and to outspend; the season to be the gaudiest and the most glittery?

As children, television abounded with things we wanted to be like our tv heroes: a Lassie dog, real or stuffed, holsters and guns and cowboy outfits like Roy Rogers and Dale Evans, the Lone Ranger and Tonto, Gene Autrey…. a Lamb Chop puppet, an Easy Bake oven, a doll the cries and wets. There were Cabbage Patch Dolls and Power Rangers, there are Dragon Ball Z and Legos and Fisher Price, and on and on, ad nauseam. Apparently, people spend, on average, $1400 each buying things for Christmas. $1400.00. You may not be surprised by this figure, and you could be one who spends much more. Like most people, I love being on the receiving end of gifts, and even more, l love to be the giver. Of the many things I have gotten over the years, the ones I keep and remember best are not the biggest and brightest, but the things that people have made for me. There is a shoebox among my Christmas decorations that is stuffed full of those things. My bedroom walls are covered with framed cards that my artist cousin made and sent to me. The time spent in the thought and creation, and the bits of themselves that go into the handmade gifts – those things, to me, show the love that Christmas should be about.

The best gift we can ever give to anyone at Christmas is to share the Hope and the Joy and the Peace that only comes from Jesus. Your gift may be serving dinner once a week at a homeless shelter, delivering food and meals to someone who is home bound, or spending an hour at a retirement center and singing carols. These are just a few suggestions. There are tremendous opportunities out there, and we have 15 days till the Big Day.

“And the ONE sitting on the throne said, “Look, I am making everything new!” And then He said to me, “Write this down, for what I tell you is trustworthy and true.” And He also said, “It is finished! I am the Alpha and the Omega—the Beginning and the End. To all who are thirsty I will give freely from the Springs of the Water of LIFE. All who are victorious will inherit all these blessings, and I will be their GOD, and they will be My children.” – Revelation 21:5‭-‬7 NLT

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