‘Tis the season

     Christmas–I love it!  Shopping–I love it.  Sometimes I worry about myself a little bit, though…another 12 step program could be indicated here.  Hmmm, I sense a theme developing.  Seriously, nothing like the thrill of finding just the right thing for that special someone.  And that season is upon us.  I don’t mean shopping season, though it might seem like it.  I mean Christmas.  It is my favorite holiday, by far.  I love the smells, the sounds, the way it makes me feel, getting to see family you don’t get to see but twice a year…and the shopping. 
     So, I’m at the mall today and I’m feeling the spirit, making some purchases. Walking along, singing along with the music that just seems to be coming out of nowhere. There must be some subliminal messages in that Christmas music they pump through the speakers at the mall.  “Buy some more of our great stuu-uff, fa la la la la la la la la.  You know you don’t have enou-ough, fa la la la la la la la la.”  It is a bit of a snowball effect, you know.  You buy one great gift for someone and it just fuels the fire even more and sends you on your way to burn up that credit card.  SIGH.
     I would like to think that I try very hard to set an example for my kids and focus on the real reason we celebrate this amazing holiday.  And when your kids start asking you “why we do we celebrate Christmas, anyway?” (YIKES!), you have no choice but to give the matter some thought and try to answer that question for yourself.  So, I’m thinking to myself, “am I really modeling to my children what I want them to remember about why we celebrate Christmas?”  It’s a harsh reality.  But so easy to get swept up in all the hype, the shopping , the decorating, the busyness of the season, and on and on.  And when your children, your little “mirrors”, ask you questions like this, it does give you pause.  Maybe I’m not doing such a good job after all.  And then I really stop to think about it.  I am reminded that “God so loved the whole world that He gave His only son that whoever believed in Him would not perish, but have eternal life.”  And that He came to this earth as a precious baby,  pure, innocent and deeply loved by his Father in heaven and his earthly parents.  When I focus on this, I am overwhelmed and humbled.  So, I tell my kids, who are innocent and deeply loved, by their Father in heaven and by their earthly parents, and I remind myself as well, that it’s Jesus’ birthday and that He is the greatest gift any of us will ever know.  And the best gift we can give to anyone is the gift of knowing Him and showing them His love.  Doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the thrill of a good deal at Target, though!  So, enjoy the season–everything about it.  Just don’t forget to enjoy the best gift the season has to offer–Jesus. 
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