T’was the the month before Christmas…

T’was the month before Christmas and all through the shire, people are dashing around as if their houses are on fire…

We find ourselves again in the ‘silly season’. That time of year that is dominated by decorations and trees, end of year events and parties, food and family, silly hats and celebrations and of course – the giving and receiving of gifts.

A month out from Christmas there are a few of us that are organised, all the gifts are purchased and wrapped and they are just waiting for ‘the day’ but most of us are yet to embark upon the selection, preparation and procurement of the said gifts and some won’t give it any thought at all for yet weeks to come.

Selecting a gift is an interesting exercise; you can ‘pay it off’ and just choose the same gift for everyone. There is a growing trend to buy everyone a gift card and to let them decide. One of the motivators behind this is because people have so much stuff, they don’t want to buy someone something that they don’t need or are unlikely to use.   However, most people still like to buy a personalised gift and present something that suits the recipient and brings them joy. This can be easy for some but I also note that many people get pretty stressed at this time of year and that ‘joy’ I spoke of can be a little hard to find.

So a month out from Christmas I want to issue you a challenge – whatever mode of gift giving you subscribe to (either the ‘one size fits all’ or the ‘OMG I must find the perfect gift!’), I would encourage you to think of yourself as a gift this Christmas.

Think of the friendship and love you can offer, the joy and encouragement that you can bring, the restoration of broken relationships you could reach for, the re-establishment of connections which have been broken. Think of how you could use your many and varied abilities to make someone else’s life better, combatting loneliness and isolation which are reaching epidemic proportions in our society.

You being ‘a gift’ could actually make a real difference this year.

I think that this is the central message of Christmas – Christ came as a gift for us so we should live as a gift for each other…

“Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift!”

2 Corinthians 9:15

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