Every year, at least in the United States, there seems to be this mad shift from Thanksgiving, where we all find something for which to be thankful and watch football and eat way too much turkey, to Christmas. It used to start with shopping madness on Black Friday (after Thanksgiving). Now the mayhem begins on Thanksgiving or even before. Like October.
Somewhere in this shift, Americans are supposed to move from being thankful (more likely a “turkey-coma”), to a frantic frenzy of trying to find gifts to give to others; not necessarily out of joy, mind you, but rather out of guilt, compulsion, tradition, and one-up-man-ship; and sometimes even love.
This may be the one time of year when Americans try to think about other people én masse. Frankly, who cares about the reason; it’s just fantastic that we think about someone else other than ourselves. Incredible! Christmas can bring out the good in people.
As we make this shift from Thanksgiving to Christmas do try to remember that we, as Americans, do have a great deal for which to be thankful. Just look at the state of the world around us. Even given our myriad of problems, what other country lives in the prosperity that we do? At our worst, we are better off that 75% of the rest of the world.
Christmas should be a time we are all reminded to pay it forward. It is a season to give to others for their delight, not to be recognized for our lavish gifts. Our giving should reflect God’s gift of His Son to us, for our delight, for our salvation. Christmas is a time when we are called upon in a special way to honor God and to honor people in our hearts and actions.
So this Christmas give, but spend proportionally, and give freely. If you do, you will be reflecting the original meaning of Christmas. The gift of God to us.