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Recently I've spent a good deal of time in local stores and malls. I've walked my feet off and spent too much money, but I've enjoyed every minute, well nearly every minute. I've had warm encounters with friends and strangers. And I've accepted and offered Merry Christmas wishes. People seem to be more congenial this time of year.
However, there are those who would rather grouse than partake in the celebration. Today while standing in a line at Walmart the woman behind me told her friend how much she hated Christmas and couldn't wait until it was over. She's missing out, missing the point.
Her complaint wasn't the first I've heard this year. Each time I hear this negative point of view I feel a little sad and wonder why the person finds Christmas so distasteful. Some have good cause--this can be a stressful time and it seems to bring out the melancholy and heartache that often lives just beneath the surface. Loneliness lurks and seeks us out.
And yet I must confess--I LOVE CHRISTMAS! I enjoy it all--the shopping, the crowds, bell ringers, Christmas music, bright lights and tinsel and the man playing Santa and . . . well the list goes on.
Christmas is magical. As a child the enchantment was all about Santa and then as I grew older it became the fun and frolic of family, and finally there was that special Christmas when I knew The Savior. That was the best Christmas of all.
So many years ago, God gave us the ultimate of gift of Himself. I marvel that The Creator of the universe cared enough about humanity that He became a man to save us. What greater gift is there than this? Because of the baby Jesus who grew into the man who walked the road of sorrows we have the hope of eternity with God. What a wondrous gift.
In light of the first Christmas miracle should we humbug the season, which has become so commercialized? For what purpose? What good shall come of shrugging it off or disdaining of it completely? Doesn't God love laughter and joy, little ones with eyes aglow, kindness and hugs? Does He not love our reverence, fragrant candles and voices raised in praise to Him?
YES! He does!
Christmas, indeed, is too commercial. But I say allow the light of Christ to shine anyway. Love your fellow man--while standing in a line at Walmart--attending a community treelighting--while lifting voices with others in worship. Let us remember the baby Jesus born to simple, faithful people.
Christmas is like fertile ground--it's a good place to plant our faith, to share Jesus with those who don't know Him. If we're grumbling what becomes of planting? How much better it is to allow the light of Jesus to shine brightly. Tell someone you love them--that He loves them. Embrace the joy of the season and spread it all around.
Merry Christmas to you.
Do you have a special Christmas tradition? Please share it by leaving a comment. One lucky person will receive an autographed copy of To Love Anew as my Christmas gift to them.