It seems that no matter what store one goes into these past couple of weeks, three different holidays are being advertised, and shelves are stocked with items representing all three.
Of course, there’s Halloween, which I have not cared for since I was 6 years old; that year my Mom made me a clown costume of bright blue with huge orange polka dots. Now that was fun, and so was going around to friends and neighbors, followed at a bit of a distance by my father. Back then there were apples, homemade candies, and cookies placed in my bag, but such items are no longer allowed. “Trick or Treat” was mostly about treats, except for a few trees or bushes decorated with toilet paper by some rowdy neighborhood boys. Scary skeletons and ghosts were rarely seen. But then, I am an old codger, and times have certainly changed in a way I don’t like! Another member is much more terrifying: Ron’s Dad had a heart attack and died on Halloween night.
Beautifully decorated Thanksgiving paper plates and napkins are carefully displayed at WalMart, and I cannot resist the temptation to buy them to decorate the table on my favorite holiday. Thanksgiving is very special because we have so much for which to be thankful! This time of year also boasts apple and pumpkin pies and a table set with seven different vegetables the way my Grandmother used to do. Our dear friends, Ken and Donna, come a couple of day early each year, and on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving, we bake like it’s going outta’ style!
Can you believe that stores are already playing Christmas music and have a selection of Christmas décor that is so very eye-catching? Unfortunately, the holiday has become about getting rather than giving. It is less about Jesus and the greatest Gift ever given to us, and has become about spending money for “catch-pennies” (my Grandfather’s word) rather than benefitting the needy with some life-sustaining gift. Ron and I have gotten wiser about gift giving, and offer needed clothing and/or food items–even to family. With nine adult grandchildren and five great-grandchildren, Christmas can break the bank if you let it!
To me, the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays are about spirituality, and spirituality is about relationship. The most important relationship is that with Jesus, and the next with spouses and family. One church Ron pastored celebrated Thanksgiving with a special service called “Thanksgiving and Praise.” It consisted of lots of music and a five-minute sermon, followed by a special dinner with community invited for both. Christmas Eve was about music, stories, and gift bags for church and community children. What a blessing!
This holiday season, why not think about someone who would not ordinarily be a part of your celebration, and show them the loving Jesus in your heart. Then, write and tell us what you did and how it turned out.
Holiday blessings to you all!
Ron and Nancy