December 22, 2010

Winning Christmas

READY8 “Love is what's in the room with you at Christmas if you stop opening presents and listen.” ~Author unknown, attributed to a 7-year-old named Bobby

AIM8 Have you heard the Target holiday commercials about Christmas shopping and “winning Christmas?” The gal is talking about finding the perfect gifts for everyone on her list and implying that she’s going to secure the trophy for best present this year. Seriously? Is this what Christmas has come to? Sigh…editorial disclaimer ahead…

It appears to me that our society has gotten so caught up in materialism that Christmas has become nothing more than a commercial holiday. To some, it’s not a real Christmas gift unless it is purchased at a well-known department store and wrapped in expensive paper complete with required bow. Really? We’re not children any more; we’re grown-ups and we’re supposed to be mature and understand the true meaning of Christmas. I think there’s something about keeping up with the Joneses that gets into our heads (not our hearts) and we become materialistic maniacs during the holidays. I’ll admit I often get caught up in the hustle and bustle of holiday shopping as much as the next person. However, my eternal quest is to spend quality time with my family and friends during the holidays. This is a gift to me and to each of them.

So, if you’re on a budget this year, why not give homemade gifts? A homemade gift, whether it be food, clothing or decorations, is really a gift of your most precious commodities – your time, talent and love. Who wouldn’t want a gift that was handcrafted specifically with them in mind? Sometimes we need to remind ourselves that the true meaning of Christmas does not come with a price tag.

I propose to you that in order to “win” Christmas favor this year, you do the following:

1.) Give generously and sincerely no matter where you bought the gift, how much it cost you or how long it took you to make it.

2.) Be a gracious receiver regardless of how big, how little or how unconventional the gift is that you are given.

3.) Carve out a few moments Christmas morning to find peace in the midst of the hurried pace of this week. Let the birth of a tiny baby, Jesus, rest in your soul as you reflect on all the gifts you’ve been given all year long. More importantly, be thankful for the gift God gave you long ago…the gift of life.

FIRE!8 Have a Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Happy Kwanzaa and Joyous Winter Solstice! (Did I miss any? LOL!) Honestly, I truly wish you and your families the best of everything this year. As I celebrate Christmas, your gifts of friendship, loyalty and love are what I cherish most of all.

Be Excellent!

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