Tuesday, December 2, 2008

It's Christmas Time...

I love this time of year. Growing up Christmas was always about being with family and traditions. Every year my dad would put up a huge train display that would take up the half of our living room. This is where our Christmas tree would be. My mom would decorate this tree with her nice ornaments and really spend a nice amount of time making it look perfect. We would also put up a smaller Christmas tree in the other living room. Some of you would call them a living room and a family room, but in our home we called them the front room and the back room because they both served the exact same purpose. Anyhow, this smaller tree would hold all of the kid’s homemade ornaments and we would put our gifts for one another under this tree. The other tree is where Santa would leave his gifts. My mom has a really authentic looking manger scene that she puts up yearly. My mom would take time to bake cookies throughout the month and she always made different types of breads, jelly’s or ornaments to give to others as gifts.

Another area about this time of year that I really get excited about is shopping. Those of you who know me know that I am not big into shopping just to shop and when I say that I love to go shopping this time of year, I mean that I really enjoy shopping for other people. I love to give gifts away. Each year we set a budget for who we are going to buy for and for how much. Months ahead of Christmas I am already thinking about what that person might need or want. So, when I find the perfect gift for them I am just thrilled. Now, we set a budget, but I almost always go over – if I find the perfect gift and it is only a couple of dollars more…than oh well…it is the perfect gift for that person! I love to give to people…if I could I would give our entire savings away. Now, yes, that can be foolish and that is why God gave me Rock - to remind me that if we give away all of our money than it will be a lot longer for me to be home with Bean.

It wasn’t until last year when I became a Christian that I really began to see the true meaning of the holiday. I have always had loving intentions and selfless acts during this holiday (not 100%), but rarely saw it as Jesus’ birthday. I knew that this was the reason we celebrated, but I focused more on Santa and giving the gifts away and not really taking the time to think why I wanted to give people gifts. Yes, I had very good intentions, but it has always been missing something. So, this year, before I went shopping on one of the craziest shopping days (yes – I enjoy this day) I prayed on my drive to the store that I would buy gifts that people needed or gifts that were Christ pleasing and that I wouldn’t spend our hard earned money on foolish items. Well, prayer is powerful because I don’t think I bought one thing that I regret. I put a lot of time and thought into what I was buying and I really hope that the receivers truly appreciate their gifts. I have vowed to make this holiday solely about my Savior and less about the secular needs and wants of the holiday. Won’t you join me?
Merry CHRISTmas!!!!

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