I watched from behind the counter as a husband and wife argued vehemently about a purchase, their distressed children looking on.
Throughout my college years I worked at department stores every Christmas vacation. I had ample opportunity to observe and interact with people. I noticed quite a lot of Christmas spirit. Problem was, much of it was the wrong kind of spirit.
Oh, there was plenty of the love and compassion we look for at Christmas, to be sure. But every year, the closer Dec. 25 came, the more I observed stressed-out people full of frustration, impatience and anger. Sometimes it boiled over.
In order to keep the right kind of Christmas spirit, here are a few suggestions:
Give fewer things; give more of yourself. Your time and attention are valuable gifts. Find a way to spend them meaningfully.
Remember the meaning of Christmas. Don’t get inundated with the commercial side of the holiday. Keep Jesus, not Santa, first.
Don’t “exchange” gifts. When we give and receive gifts of equal value, it’s trading, not giving. Don’t measure the value of a gift (given or received) by its cost.
Let Thanksgiving spill over into the Christmas season. Let your preparations and celebrations be full of thankfulness.
Seize the opportunity to talk about Jesus. It is easier to share the gospel with our unsaved neighbors, friends and loved ones in the spirit of this season than at any other time of year.
Refuse to let the pressure get to you. Santa may not be watching, but people are. Maintain a good testimony. With Jesus’ help, keep the right kind of Christmas spirit.
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