In the beautiful little southern town of Fairhope, Alabama, Christmas decorations go up early and are carefully chosen and always beautiful! There is nothing more beautiful that the First United Methodist church's entrance to their sanctuary! The doors are beautiful by themselves but when adorned with these beautiful wreaths, they are near perfection! So lovely! The Cross against a truly perfect blue sky also spoke of the reason we celebrate this Season of Love! "Jesus is the Reason for the Season!"......all around the world!
I love the laughter and the joy found on the cherub faces, in the sweet and trusting eyes, and in the smiles of most every little child this time of year. Christmas shopping is fun when we have enough time to search for just the right gift for the special loved ones in our lives, whether big or small. We think of them, what they might like, what makes them happy and then search until we find just the perfect gift! What is your idea of a perfect gift? Think of the little children going to see Santa and sitting on his lap and whispering to him exactly "the list" of what they want him to bring on Christmas morning. This little experience is a part of childhood that is priceless! It is just a small window of time in a child's life.....then it's gone! The pictures of Christmas mornings though last forever in a parent's heart.
Christmas in our home has always been a special time. When our children were little, everything revolved around our activities at church.....the programs they were in, the ones that we, as parents were in, the music, the decorations, the tradition of reading the Christmas story from the Bible of God sending His perfect gift of Jesus to be our Savior! As they grew and embraced the true meaning of Christmas, our focus changed from Santa to Jesus Christ. Many times, they were aware that not everyone has even a small gift at Christmas. During this time, we selected an Angel from the Angel tree and purchased gifts to share with children who would not have a gift without the gift of others.
I do still love to decorate with our Santa's because Christmas, when I was a child, was filled with happy memories of Christmas eve and Christmas morning when Santa brought gifts. Today, when the little ones are in my home, they know that the navtity sets that I have of Mary, Joseph, Baby Jesus, the Wise Men, the Shepherds, and the animals are for them to look with wonder in their eyes, and to touch them and love them. They are developing a love, a sweet love for Jesus.....thank you dear God for this wonderful blessing!
As we think about this season of Love and Peace and Joy, I hope that you are able and that you have opportunities to share something, no matter how small with others around you. Giving freely to others is what life is all about and is what ultimately brings us the most joy in our lives and honors and brings glory to God! He truly and ultimately gave us on Christmas His greatest gift of LOVE!
"Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, patience: bearing with one another and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another, even as Christ forgave you so you also must do. But above all these things put on LOVE, which is the bond of perfection. And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him." Colossians 3:13