I love the holidays. All of them. 4th of July...love it. New Years...love it. Easter...love it. Halloween...love it. Thanksgiving...really love it. Christmas...my favorite!
A few years ago I wrote a blog about my fondness for the Christmas season. I talked about family and friends (and Christmas parties). I talked about all the good food that is cooked up and consumed during this time of year. I talked about traditions (the shot of whiskey that me, Wes, and Brandon take every Christmas Eve). I talked about the birth of Jesus. All these things are wonderful and Jesus certainly is the Reason for the season but today I chose to reflect on something material and something we all love...THE PRESENTS!
We love presents. We love to give and boy, do we love to receive. Some of us love Black Friday. Others of us hate it. Doesn't matter much. Sooner or later you'll jump on the shopping band wagon. This year I've done a pretty good amount of shopping online. That helps keep me out of all the crowds and lines. I know some people who go out early and stand in line for the stores to open up so that they can jump in there and fight to the death over toaster ovens and stuff like that. Maybe Black Friday shopping can become the next new reality show...or even the new sport like MMA. Full contact shopping! That would be awesome.
My point in all this is that I think the commercialization of Christmas...or the "Holiday Season" as is more politically correct (which is another blog topic that I would like to address at some point) has gotten just about out of hand. Now, I am sure that there are many of you out there that still hold Christ as the focus of the season and if that's the case, well then God bless you and your family. Seems to me that the past few years my family has more and more gone overboard with the presents. I think last year it took all of us over 4 hours to get through all the presents. It's unreal. My wife and I said that this year we were going to take it easy with all the presents. Nope...we got to the mall and destroyed that agreement and that was just on stuff for the kids. Like they need all that stuff.
If this trend continues, we'll have to spend all Christmas day just opening up gifts. I digress...
We love presents. Do you love giving or receiving more? It's an honest question and there's no shame in answering honestly. I love to give. At this point in my life, I don't really need much. Sure, there are plenty of things that I want but not many things that I truly need. I have found that I get most of the things I want and need during the year. So, my wife and I spend much more on getting things for the kids than we do on each other.
I have gotten some really great presents through the years though. A shotgun, a rifle, my Saddleback Leather briefcase, and other items of that caliber (no pun intended). I have given some really good gifts too. I've given books, games and gaming systems, bikes, clothes, Saddleback Leather items, boots and shoes, jackets, and all sorts of household appliances.
My question to you is: What is the best Christmas present you've ever received? What is the best you've ever given? Have you ever given someone their all time best Christmas present? This is something that I've been thinking about recently. It's hard sometimes to remember the things you get for Christmas. It's even hard to remember the really good things we receive. Next year I am going to spend some time really studying the people I give gifts to. I'm going to seek out what they really need and want for Christmas. I am going to cut back on the number of gifts and concentrate on giving really great and memorable gifts. Things that stand out in memory...not fade. I challenge you to do the same.
Christ gave us the greatest gift that was ever given. He gave his life for our sins. If you don't know Him as your savior, then I pray that you will come to know Him and ask him for that gift. The bible says that all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. The bible also says that all you have to do is call on the name of the Lord and you shall be saved. This is a gift that you must ask for but it's also a gift that can never be taken from you and you cannot lose it. You cannot do a single act on earth to earn it. All you are required to do is believe and ask.
If Christ gave his life for the world, how difficult would it be for us to give the ones we love a great and memorable gift. Not quantity but quality. Give an awesome gift to someone you love and give that gift in the name of Jesus. Tell your loved one that you give it because you celebrate what God has done for you. They'll never forget it.
In this Christmas season, may the love of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ bless you and your families. May you find peace and joy.