Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Christmas can still save lives

About this time every year, I start to feel the stress of the holiday season begin to make it's ugly head.  When I was a kid, Christmas was fun.  It meant time off from school, baking with Grandma, dressing up as an angel for the church Christmas program, and presents.  Now, I'm lucky if I get one day off work and get a couple of semi-homemade pies made.  We don't live near either of our families, so it always means traveling.

The beauty of Christmas is found in the mundane.  A couple of years ago - it was our first Christmas in St. Louis - we had gone to see the Rockettes' Christmas show at the Fox theater in downtown St. Louis.  The show ended with a lovely live nativity.  After the show was over, we walked outside.  It was cold that night, and we were both wearing our heavy coats.  We heard carolers.  They were from a local church.  When they saw that we knew the Christmas hymn that they were singing, they invited us to join them.  We kindly declined - knowing that I wouldn't last ten minutes outside in that cold weather.  It was still a perfect night.

My point is that Christmas doesn't have to be super busy or expensive in order for it to be meaningful and memorable.  I am sick of the consumeristic nature of the holiday in the US.  Shopping, traffic, crowded malls, dancing mechanical Santas, on and on.  I'm ready to make this holiday more meaningful for us.  This year, if you get a Christmas gift from us it will have most likely benefited someone else.  Some of the Christmas gifts that I've already purchased were bought at a fundraiser for a Haitian hospital.  Other gifts were adoption fundraisers that friends of ours were selling.  We're also asking our families not to spend much on us.  Instead, we are asking that people give us items that we can take to the orphanage that Samantha is at. . .things like diapers, underpants, and money for formula.  We will deliver those items on Christmas morning as a Christmas gift for all of the children there.

May you have a happy Christmas - and may it be one that honors the Saviour who came to serve others.

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