Christmas is just a few days away now and I can tell you that I am no closer to being ready than I was six months ago.  I am ready for Christmas – I’m just not ready for all the hullaballoo that goes along with this season.

I feel that Christmas is a time to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ.  I do not get giddy, and never have, over presents and parties which are supposed to celebrate the Christmas Season.  The real reason has been replaced by gift giving and a mad dash to the stores to buy, buy, buy.  

I’m certainly not against giving gifts.  I feel something meaningful and thoughtful, expressly for a person, is the proper way to give gifts.  Now, that doesn’t really happen in the real world.  Christmas should be an extension of Thanksgiving.  A time for families to go to church together and worship the King, whose birthday we celebrate.  

The most profound gift ever given was from God himself.  He gave His only Begotten Son, to serve as a sacrifice for all of us, so that we would have a way to join our Father in Heaven at a time of His choosing.  What a wonderful way for God to express His love for us.  

The other morning, I was reading in “Our Daily Bread”, a guide for daily Scripture readings and comments by various authors.  On this day the author wrote that her children were missing the mark at being thankful for what they have as Christmas approached. She proceeded to walk around their home and put bows and ribbons on different items, handwritten notes explaining that each was a God Given Gift.  A “GGG”!  I just made that up.  Since we use acronyms for everything else – why not?  The notes explained how each item:  a light switch, a refrigerator, a stove, a furnace, cars, clothes, etc. were a gift from God.  Even the most unfortunate may have greater gratitude for what they have than those who are blessed with much.  

I suppose it is natural to take things for granted and forget from whence they or it came.  A man or woman works hard to make money to take care of family needs, but sometimes, well, almost always, children don’t think of those hard-working folks who take care of them.  I’m sure, in fact I know, that I was the same way as a youngster and into my teens.  Until I was out on my own that I realized how much was given to me.  As parents we are mostly glad to provide for our children.  However, by the same token, we should try to teach them gratitude.

I hope, during this Christmas season, that you will consider all that we, as a nation, must be thankful.  I can assure you that no where else on this earth are people as free and blessed as we are.   

Please be careful in your travels and gentle in your words and actions towards others.  Hopefully good thoughts and deeds will carry over into the next year.

God bless all of you.  Pray for our country and our leaders.  God bless Charlton County, Georgia, and the USA.