Christmas Of The Heart Not The Advertisement
Shops At Georgetown
Costco Has Halloween And Christmas Out
If you are a crafter you have been delving through Christmas products since. the second week of July. That is somewhat understandable since it takes time to make crafts. But Costco? Really?
Why do secular people do Christmas anyway? What fun is competing with the Joneses in the who has the most lights up. Or with the ex spouse on who is going to buy the love of the kids with the best presents this year. Do Children really need extravagant Christmas presents?Christmas really has gotten out of control. Ba Humbug!
The meaning of Christmas has been wrapped so tightly by Madison Avenue and political correctness it is hidden. The decorations, presents and the squabbling over what is politically correct has mislead people into thinking that Christmas is presents, decorations, lights and Santa Claus. This causes families to spend money on toys and things they can't afford.
Come on... controversy over Starbucks cups being solid red, with their green logo. I love those cups and I am a Christian. They were brilliant marketing. All they had to do on with the regular cups is change the base color to red.
Ads abound asking for your help in making holiday wonderful for foster children. These ads end with a child saying, "Not everybody can be a foster parent, but everyone can help a foster child", is etched in our minds. Why on earth aren't we exhorted to help people learn how to parent and how to keep families together so there are no foster children.
Children are overloaded by activities and stuff. Parents are stressed by financial worries. All in the name of Happy Holidays and Seasons Greetings!
Lots of people don't want Jesus to be a part of the holidays. This certainly causes pause for thought. What is the reason for the December winter holiday? Would there be Christmas without Jesus? Our nation and nations though out the world have been affected by this man who walked on earth more than two thousand years ago. Do believers in Jesus fare better than others who race at breakneck speed toward December 25?
What makes decorating and buying gifts so important? Is the deadline of December 25 really a life or death matter?
Grandpas Family Picture
December through January are dark, depressed months. Suicide hotlines ring excessively with calls from people who remember how Christmas used to be:
- "We used to go to church as a family". "Everyone always has fun at Christmas, but me ". "My family is a long ways away and I don't have money to go home"."I don't have a home". "I lost my husband in Afghanistan". "I am in an abusive relationship". "I want to go to church, but my husband won't go". "We don't have money for presents". "My mom is in prison; she is an addict". "I am pregnant without a husband". "My lover left me". "I am afraid for my life. Someone from another gang is out to get me" "There is no hope". "Nobody loves me".
Nearly everyone remembers Christmas. Some try desperately to forget by filling their lives with other activities. Christmas is a big release time for movies. The thing about movies is you can cry in a movie without anybody noticing,
The glitzy ads on T.V show kids toys they, "Have to have to be popular or cool". The mall has so many things to choose from its difficult to pick presents for everyone. Then there is the price tag. You find the perfect present for someone and it takes most of your budget. You still have other presents to buy. The pressure mounts. You hear the same songs over and over again. The classics have religious words so they aren't broadcast in the mall. Joy to the World and Away in the Manger have been replaced by Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer, Frosty the Snowman and Jingle Bells. If you are a sales affiliate you go crazy listening to these Christmas songs which were funny and cute the first 25 times you heard them. Though this year the selection has broadened.
Grandma Got Run Over By A Raindeer
But... Does It Have To Be Depressing?
Christmas doesn't have to be depressing. Old memories can fade. New memories can be made. The true meaning of Christmas makes all that possible. Now here is where some of you, say," Here we go another person trying to force God on me".
It is not my job to entice people into believing in God. Christians, in my opinion, are not inoculated from Madison Avenue advertising. Believers are given the job to love, to tell their story of what God has done for them and what he would like to do for all mankind. Nobody can make you believe anything. It wouldn't be your belief if you had to be sold a bill of goods.
Whether you believe you are celebrating the birth of Jesus, or you go through December striving to accomplish all Madison Avenue entices you to do; you can make a difference in the lives of others with surprising results.
The Christmas Story
All Is Quiet
The key to Christmas is to know the story. A guy named Isaiah, proclaimed many years before the birth of Jesus,"The savior of the world is coming". You will know him because, "He will be born of a virgin". How unlikely is that. Still, there were people, religious leaders, looking for Messiah. The first Christmas was quiet; only the farm animals lowing. Visiting Bethlehem, Joseph and his pregnant wife Mary could only find a barn for shelter. Farm animals kept them warm, as a baby was born into the world. No fanfare. A group of shepherds were out in the fields with their sheep. Angels told them the "The Messiah is born". Those shepherds believed the angels and ran to see him. Christ the Messiah was born in the lowliest of circumstances. No fanfare. It was very quiet that first Christmas.
Take some time to be quiet this Christmas. Have you thought of laying under the stars marveling at what you see? You will return to the sound and flurry with a new perspective.
A Christmas Story
One night, in December, my husband and I were enjoying a quiet evening. I got an idea, and I said to my husband "You may think I am crazy, but I think we are suppose to give the Ed and Shannon some money". My husband is amazing! After 12 year of marriage he was somewhat used to my suggestions for adventure. He took a deep breath," Do have specific amount"? "Well... yes". He held his breath. I said "A hundred dollars"? As college students, with a little boy, one hundred dollars was huge. My husband said, "O...K". I quickly wrote a check and slipped it into a Christmas card, and mailed it. A couple of days later we got a call. "We want you to come to Sunday Supper". All 11 kids were so excited when we got to their big house. The 10 older kids doted on our little boy. They ran around outside and played football while supper was being prepared. They wanted to tell us personally how grateful they had been for the money. They had been feeling very discouraged. Despite being a CPA at a large accounting firm they still didn't meet the monthly bills. They had adopted 8 of their 10 children and some of them had special needs. With our gift they had gone to Sears with a coupon during a sale and had been able to purchase new shoes for each child. This was a long time ago, but even then shoes cost more than ten dollars a pair. That day eating scalloped potatoes with ham, vegetables and salad with that family of twelve was the best Christmas. It wasn't actually Christmas day, but from the joy at that house we were as happy as if it had been. We encouraged this family and they continue to encourage us. One simple act made a lasting impression.
Those ten kids grew up.Their dad became a college professor, so he could put ten kids through college. Their mom went back to college and became a social worker. Doing something small today may mean a better life for someone years later. What can you do for somebody?
God intends Christmas to be a time of Hope. Jesus doesn't meet expectations, any more than Madison Avenue ad executives so people get mad. They try to explain God away. God promises those who truly seek him will find him. They take a leap of faith and land on a rock, that nothing can shake. Life isn't always rosy, but focusing on God, who sees infinite possibilities, there is a place for hope.
If you could explain God, would he really be a God you wanted to give everything for?.
Christmas started at Costco before Halloween. How irritating. Wait, is it really? Maybe there is a lesson to learn from the advertisers. True Christmas should never be only in December. The true Christmas Spirit gives gifts of love and goodwill all year long. When you think about a friend or family member during the year give them a call. Let the thanksgiving spirit of November move into December Christmas gift giving, Send a hand written letter to someone. Advertise how much you love the people in your life. Advertising love isn't be done by Madison Avenue marketers; it is done when Christmas is advertised from the heart.
Living He Loved Me
Tips For Parents If You Want Your Kids To Be Really Cool Any Time Of Year
Here are tips to ensure your kids friends will think your kids are cool:
- Be willing to set limits and when the limits are tested send the kid home for a timeout. Make sure they understand they are welcomed back when they act right.
- Be the go to parent. Walk the talk you talk. Kids recognize phoneys in a heart beat.
- Have the house where kids like to gather.
- Trust them not to get into trouble, but make sure you are there supervising. You have been an adult much longer than any kid who crosses your path. They want to know you will help them do the right thing.
- Say,"No" to bad behavior.
- If you go to bed before the kids, take a nap, then get up and hang with them for awhile. If they are old enough to be drinking have a drink with them. It doesn't need to be alcohol. Grab a cup of coffee and sit in their midst.
- Listen to them. That means being with kids and not lecturing. We have death by lecture at our house, but the parental units listen too.
The kids down the street will always have better gifts than my kids. That's O.K. They know the true meaning of Christmas, and that the love they get from us is not fake or causal. Christmas of the heart will lay down it's life for a friend and is not bothered when the Christmas cookies are all gone as each pan comes out of the oven. Thankfully there is more flour and butter for another batch.
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