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Look past the tinsel this Christmas

Commercialism has turned Christmas into an indicator. The strength of our economy is judged by the amount of money spent in stores and online from Black Friday through the end of the season. From what I have seen and heard, there should be records set this year as the economy is in much better shape than it has been in many, many moons both locally and nationally. Christmas is the season of giving and one must buy gifts in order to give so the economic impact of Christmas is a desirable byproduct of the shopping season. In my estimation, a few people love Christmas shopping while a lesser number absolutely abhor it. The vast majority endure it because it is expected of them. Then there is the whole decoration thing. Christmas trees must be erected, lighted and adorned with ornaments. Gifts must be wrapped and placed under the tree. Wreaths and garland must be hung and fake candles placed in window sills. Elaborate meals must be prepared. Everything has to be just right for visiting holiday guests. The pressure is on! In the press of these preparations, it is easy to lose sight of the miracle of Jesus’ birth which is what Christmas is all about. The birth of Jesus, God made flesh, to a virgin was indeed a miracle. It is, indeed, history’s foremost miracle. Your birth and those of each and every person around you were also miracles. Life ebbs and flows. People are born and people die. Lifespans vary. Some are long. Some are far too short. So, try to live in the now and enjoy the time you are allotted, particularly during this Christmas season. Set the expectation that you will make the most of it. Determine that this is going to be your best holiday season ever. It should be a time of appreciation, excitement, joy and peace so make it so. Enjoy yourself. Be at peace with those around you. A heartfelt ‘Merry Christmas’ is gift enough for most people. Greet them in that manner. You will be rewarded with a smile almost every time. Think more about the manger and less about managing all you have to do this holiday season. Jesus’ birth and life were all about love. Look beyond the tinsel. Look for love. It surrounds you! Merry Christmas to each and every one of you and your families. We thank you for reading!

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