Don’t pout! Shout about Christmas! | Faith | The Press and Standard

by | December 24, 2017 5:00 am

Last Updated: December 20, 2017 at 2:37 pm

In just a few days, Christmas will be here. Leading up to that time, you will see people going about in the hustle and bustle of shopping for gifts, getting the food items to prepare for the holiday feast, Christmas party committees fulfilling the plans to entertain fellow employees, churches getting ready for the annual Christmas plays and concerts, and some getting the flowers to be placed on their loved ones’ graves.
Sometimes, this time of year can be very stressful — if you allow it. It should not be that way. Most of the stress probably comes from shopping for gifts. You want to get that right gift for a loved one or friend, and you find yourself aggravated and frustrated because it is just not coming together.
Giving gifts at Christmas is a good thing, but when it gets to the point that it becomes a problem, then the focus on the real gift has been lost. That gift is Jesus Christ, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life,” John 3:16 (KJV).
Forgetting that Jesus is the reason for the season can bring about disappointment, frustration, unnecessary stress, needless arguments, overindulgence, violence, ungratefulness, overspending, crime and the like.
Christmas should be about, joy, peace, fun, thankfulness, meditation, love, kindness, giving from the heart, helping the less fortunate, and a special time with family and friends. No one should be pouting on that day about what he did not get for Christmas.
When I think about the joy and real meaning of Christmas, my mind reflects on a popular carol, “Joy to the World.” The first stanza says, “Joy to the world, the Lord has come!/Let earth receive her King/Let every heart prepare Him room/And Heaven and nature sing/And Heaven and nature sing/And Heaven, and Heaven, and nature sing.”
So don’t pout about the gift you didn’t get; instead, shout about the real gift of Christmas, given to all mankind by the Father.
There are intangible gifts that we all can give at Christmas. God blessed each of us with certain gifts. Let’s use them to brighten someone else’s day. Each day when I close my prayer, I ask God to help me be a blessing to someone so that I will be a blessing to Him.
As Christmas approaches, please meditate on this anonymously shared illustration, “Eight Gifts That Do Not Cost a Cent,” and be a genuine, special blessing to someone. God will be pleased.
• THE GIFT OF LISTENING… But you must really listen. No interrupting, no daydreaming, no planning your response. Just listening.
• THE GIFT OF AFFECTION… Be generous with appropriate hugs, kisses, pats on the back, and holds. Let these small actions demonstrate the love you have for family and friends.
• THE GIFT OF LAUGHTER… Clip cartoons. Share articles and funny stories. Your gift will say, “I love to laugh with you.”
• THE GIFT OF A WRITTEN NOTE… It can be a simple “Thanks for the help” note or a full sonnet. A brief, handwritten note may be remembered for a lifetime, and may even change a life.
• THE GIFT OF A COMPLIMENT… A simple and sincere, “You look great in red,” “You did a super job,” or “That was a wonderful meal” can make someone’s day.
• THE GIFT OF A FAVOR… Every day, go out of your way to do something kind.
• THE GIFT OF SOLITUDE… There are times when we want nothing better than to be left alone. Be sensitive to those times and give the gift of solitude to others.
• THE GIFT OF A CHEERFUL DISPOSITION… The easiest way to feel good is to extend a kind word to someone; really it’s not that hard to say, “Hello” or “Thank You.”
Have a blessed and joyous Christmas and holiday season, and never leave home without Him!

(Anna Bright is a minister and educator in Walterboro. She can be reached at abrightcolumn@lowcountry.com)

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