Thank God the Christmas season is here again! The days of the Christmas season are special in many ways. Yet I realize that the “hustle and bustle” of Christmas activities are sometimes overwhelming, and I realize that the season is a great temptation for people to “bust their budget,” and yes I realize that this holiday season is difficult for those who have recently lost loved ones or for those who are really living a lonely life… However, Christmas, rightly understood and celebrated, is the best season of the year in this country.
Consider these reasons for my conclusions. First, don’t over-clutter your schedule! The season is meant for faith, family, and giving. Plan to use your time with this in mind and you won’t give in to the temptation to be harried! Second, yes you have the opportunity to spend a certain amount of money that you don’t normally spend. Remember, your gift giving should be relative to your ability to give, and extravagant relative to your means and ability to spend. Yes, I said extravagant! Extravagance is at the heart of Christmas because Jesus is the heart of Christmas! What gift could be more extravagant than offering your child as a gift to an unworthy world? Third, each of us has probably felt the pain of loss or loneliness during the Christmas season at some point in our lives… It is the season for those of us who are blessed with family and friends to open our hearts and homes to those who are struggling with loneliness. When we give of ourselves in this way, we lift others up and we too are lifted up as the result of giving ourselves to others. Finally, make Christmas about Jesus… about faith and worship of the gift of “life and light” the Word made flesh brought to earth more than 2000 years ago.
I am praying that each of you experience a merry and blessed Christmas season… and that you invite someone who is lonely to share part of the season with you and your loved ones.