So this is Christmas…hustle, bustle, scurry, hurry. Work parties, church parties, your friend’s annual party. Children’s school concerts, plays, dance recitals, oh my!

And then there are the presents to buy. Who goes on the list? What will the family budget for gifts be? Should I participate in the work gift exchange? Church white elephant? Do I do cards this year? I didn’t really get any last year.

It’s stressful! And while much of it is and can be fun, it does not hold the real meaning of Christmas and the focus of fellowship and worship that this season should hold.

Instead of getting so wrapped up in wrapping all those gifts, just stop. Stop and remember all those Christmases past.
Memories of loved ones who have entered into the sweet reward of heaven. Memories of the joy of being with family and friends as a child. Conversations around the Christmas tree, the kitchen, the backyard swing. Candlelit service singing “Joy to the World”.
There…do you see it now? There is Christmas! It is Jesus, not Jingle Bells. It is people, not presents.
This year, let the joy of the best gift ever fill you up. Let the companionship of friends and family gathered around be enough. And if presents are involved, great. But just don’t forget to bring the most important thing…your presence.
Ammie Senn