Just a few short weeks ago, my mind was going through a mental checklist of things for which I was thankful… my husband, our sons, our family, our home, our life, our church, our faith, friends, our school.  It was Thanksgiving.  I prayed, giving thanks for those things and asking God’s blessings for the people included on that list.

Then came the day after Thanksgiving when the mad dash to Christmas officially began, and I started new lists…a Christmas shopping list, Christmas to do lists, a list of things my kids wanted for Christmas, and things I might want for Christmas.  Quickly forgotten was the first list…the things for which I was thankful.

I was reminded of my ‘thankful’ list the next week in church when our praise and worship leader, Rob Jackson, talked about how in America we give thanks one day, then the next we’re going crazy in stores trying to buy all we can.

Hmmm… Looking back I recalled that my thankful list reflected on love of God, family, home and friends.  My Christmas list was all about material things.  If I had so much for which to be thankful, then why were these material things such a big deal?

Is Christmas about the stuff?  Or about love?  About God?  That’s a choice each person must make for him/herself.

As mentioned in my previous post, our Senior Pastor, Terry Moore, said that giving is a part of loving.  When we love, we want to give.  Yes, I get caught up in all the fervor of the season, but it’s because of love!  I love Christmas.  I love the people in my life.  Most importantly, I love Jesus.  Because of those loves, I want to celebrate the season!  I want to give to show my love!

It might make me crazy at times, but that’s why it’s important to me to decorate the house, find the right gifts, make Christmas goodies, and do all the things that are on my lists.  I want to share the joy of the season with those I love!

Looking at my lists through the lens of love, I realize that maybe my Thanksgiving list and my Christmas lists aren’t so different after all.  Each list was written out of love for others and love for God.  As long as I keep Christ in CHRISTmas, and remember that He is the true reason for the season, then Christmas will be about all the truly matters.

Merry CHRISTmas!  May the love and joy of Christ be the gift that keeps on giving.  🙂