Yet Christmastime can also be exhausting when faced with the seemingly endless preparations and the pressures of society's ideal of what our Christmas should look and feel like. We struggle to keep things in perspective but often get caught up in a world view that distorts the reason for our celebrations. We find ourselves trying to live up to impossible expectations.
Some of us struggle with depression and grief over a lost loved one, or the frustration and hurts when dealing with the disappointments that life has dealt us.
God has given us Christmas to minister to those in need, to share the gift of Christ with others, to bless another's life with that gift, with our words and deeds. To be faithful in shining the light of Christ on a dark, hurting and broken world.
So in light of sharing Christ with others this season our Pastor gave us a few last minute gift giving ideas.
1. "Mend a quarrel." Really what have you got lose, a broken heart, hurt feelings, a festering soul. I say the sooner the better. You'll gain forgiveness, restored friendship and a heart free to love again.
2. "Seek out a forgotten friend." What could be better than renewing a relationship and remembering the camaraderie of days long gone.
3. "Speak kindly to a homeless person." You may not be able to help with their situation but you can show them some compassion for their loss.
4. "Hug someone tightly and whisper, 'I love you so'."
5. "Gladden the heart of a child." Get down on their level and listen to what they have to say, be it silly or otherwise, you can make a child merry by sharing in their joy.
6. "Take a walk with a friend." It's amazing what a walk can do for you both. Physically, emotionally and spiritually.
7. "Express appreciation." Smile and tell someone thanks, like the person who offers to take your cart back to the store and then offer up a silent prayer on their behalf.
8. "Apologize if you were wrong." It really is very easy to say "I'm sorry." It's only two little words but can mean more than a thousand.
9. "Be gentle and patient with an angry person." In Proverbs 15:1 it says "A soft answer turns away wrath, But a harsh word stirs up anger."
And finally . . .
10. "Treat someone to a cup of coffee or an ice cream cone." What could be better than good coffee or ice cream and good conversation to spread a little good will someone's way.
And remember to share the gift of Christ, the real treasure of Christmas, the best gift of all.
"And let us not grow weary while doing good,
for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.
Therefore, as we have opportunity,
let us do good to all,
especially to those who are of the household of faith."
Galatians 6: 9-10