Hundreds of dollars later we triple check our list which has grown much longer than years gone by. Even the dog Spot gets a new bone or sweater.
The thing we often tend to forget is that the holiday is so much more about other "non commercial" elements. The holiday is about The Great Messiah, The King of Kings, The Prince of Peace, lest we forget. The one who gave the biggest gift of all, himself.
I love seeing the ornate lights, the meticulously festive trees, snow, carolers, last minute shoppers, window store fronts. I love seeing expressions of the nativity scene, snow bells in the snow, reading Twas the NIght before Christmas, singing the 12 Days of Christmas, making wreaths, sipping nog, and leaving out the once bitten cookie and milk.
During this time of year in particular, I am taken by the amount of selfless giving. The neighbors that decorate their sick neighbors home complete with Rudolph and his helpmates. The 5th grade class that sends care packages to our men serving abroad, the secret Santas who adopt entire families providing gifts and dinner. I only wish this spirit of benevolence carried into other forgotten seasons too.
My thought is for the man or woman who is bending and stretching to make December possible, all 31 days that is. The man or woman who realize that January will come and there will be more January than there is money. It is my sincere prayer that this man and woman will be surrounded by family and friends that understand the true meaning of Christmas. And that all the joy, love, support and goodwill this tribe provides this man or woman will transcend any over-spending temptation to succumb to the less real and never lasting commercial qualities of this season.
This is my prayer.