Have you noticed how much more society is becoming inundated with Christmas stuff so early in the year. The Halloween costumes are barely put away and already the stores are full of the next big Christmas fad. We decorate our houses inside and out and we even decorate ourselves with Christmas themed clothing from sox to pajamas to sweatshirts.
We are told to buy, buy, buy for our loved ones. Each year the gifts have to be bigger, better and more expensive than they were last year. How on earth did this season of simple giving become the consumerist paradise it is today?
If we look back at that first Christmas, Mary and Joseph were content with a warm place to lay their heads. The angels announced the birth of Jesus with heavenly light and song. And humanity received the greatest gift of all -- God's presence in the world in the form of a little baby born in a simple manger.
We need to think about these realities and balance them against the consumerism and materialism of this age. Why not consider giving someone your time instead of a gift? Offer to do small jobs around the house for a shut in or someone who has no family nearby. Bring lunch in to someone who might otherwise have to eat alone. This year instead of all those presents, why not give the simple gift of presence.