Sunday, December 11, 2011

Counting down the shopping days...

"I have not stopped giving thanks for you"
Ephesians 1:16

I did a little Christmas shopping today.  Bought something for my sister-in-law, and something for my brother-in-law.  I also bought a little gift for a friend of mine, and something for the Apple of my Eye.  It's a good feeling to have checked a few things off my list, but also to have found the perfect something for someone I love. 

The Christmas season is filled with things to do.  Most of them are good things, like attending parties and putting up favorite decorations around the house.  Some of them are good things that can be difficult, like writing out Christmas cards or paying a slightly higher electric bill due to the lights on the tree and on the house. 

And ~ let's admit it ~ shopping.  I've never been a girl who likes to shop.  When I need something, I want to go in, get what I need, and get out.  I'd rather be home reading, or getting stuff done around the house.  I don't even like going grocery shopping any more than I have to.  So if I didn't have the "deadline" of December 25th, I'd put off Christmas shopping indefinitely. 

And that's a pity.  The truth is, I don't buy presents for people I love because I have to, I buy them because I want to.  Christmas is a wonderful opportunity to show appreciation and friendship to people who are important to me.   But if I weren't "forced" by cultural traditions to buy gifts for friends and family, would I ever take the time to show them love?  Some, yes, but others would surely fall victim to my procrastination. 

Including, unfortunately, the Apple of my Eye.  I see him every day.  Not a day goes by where I don't hug him, give him a kiss, and tell him I love him.  But let's be honest ~ the kids get more of my attention.  They need my help, my discipline and my teaching, and he doesn't.  Much.  :)   And he's not the only one.  My parents, my sisters, my in-laws... sometimes, we need a reason to tell our families how much we appreciate them, or to tell our friends how glad we are that God put them in our lives.  So praise God for deadlines, that force us to get certain things done. 

And what about God?  Christmas is about Him, but we know He can get lost in the busyness and traditions.  I'm so glad that there are reminders everywhere about celebrating Him.  The songs and nativity scenes keep me focused on Him, and remind me to thank Him, and appreciate Him ~ what He did for us, and what He does for us.  Otherwise, who knows how long I'd put it off! 

~ "Every day I will praise You" ~
Psalm 145:2

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