Posted: 14 Dec 2008 01:14 PM CST
I love the Christmas season. The next several days will be filled with excitement as Mary Beth and I finish our Christmas shopping and make final preparations to extend the Christmas spirit into our home. Gifts need to be wrapped and shipped; several holiday parties are scheduled, and our favorite Christmas treats are waiting to be prepared, and eaten, with joyful gusto.
Through the busyness of our lives, though, it can be easy to forget why we celebrate Christmas in the first place. We buy the gifts, decorate our homes and reach out to family and friends not because there is an obligation to do so, but because by perpetuating the Christmas tradition, year-after-year, we are saying it matters to keep this time of year sacred.
Christmas provides us with the opportunity to see the gifts of hope that are still in style; are in the perfect color and just the right size to wear all year long.
However, it can be easy to be hopeless right now. The world is far from perfect. The instability of our economy and the recent events in Mumbai has some of us scratching our heads and wondering why we even bother to keep hope alive.
For me, the reason is clear – hope is a wonderful gift I have been given that helps me see the goodness that exists all around me and in me. Hope sustains my belief that no matter what happens, incredible value and grace can be found in the experience.
Over the course of my lifetime, I have received these wonderful gifts that give me hope. I share them from my heart to yours:
The day after Christmas will be a busy one. It will be on a Friday and most folks will have the day off from work. The malls and shopping centers will be packed with shoppers eager to return or exchange gifts that didn't seem to fit or just didn't feel good enough to wear.
There's a good chance my family will be in the crowd, too. The sweaters, boots and jeans we unwrapped the day before will be scrutinized to see if they are the right style; are in the perfect color and just the right size. If necessary, these gifts will be offered up for things we like better.
The gifts that give us hope, on the other hand, do not need a return policy. These gifts are crafted for each one of us and if we give ourselves permission to try them on, we will see how well they fit and how good they feel.
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