It's the last full week of shopping before Christmas and I have been running around trying to find those last minute gifts for friends and family. To my credit, most of my shopping has been finished for a while, but there are always those few that are harder to figure out.
As I was scouring the aisles in Macy's, I overhead some ladies talking. They were discussing a pair of shoes and whether or not they looked cheap. They didn't want to wear something that didn't look like they paid a fortune for it. I looked down at my lone purchase at that time, a gift that was originally $129.00, but with coupons and the sales, I was able to get it for $18! I never once thought about how "cheap" it looked.
I grew up poor, so me and my siblings were lucky to get gifts from the Dollar General or, if we had a relative whose children outgrew their toys, we got those, as well. Money was no option for us because we didn't have any! So, as I was listening to those ladies, I realized how selfish and superficial we have become as a society. I didn't want Christmas to be about the "stuff." I didn't want my children to grow up with skewed images of giving because I didn't try and show them the real meaning behind the season.
Many, many years ago, a baby was born to a young girl who had nothing. She was considered a shame because she became pregnant before she was married. She delivered her baby in a stable meant for animals, so the stench had to be horrific. He was wrapped in swaddling clothes and laid in a manger, a feeding trough for cattle or horses. It surely could not have been clean! Not only were his parents unable to provide a bed for this child, but there were people trying to harm him. He was brought into the world only to have to give his life for it years later. The irony is that he did so, knowing that this world probably didn't deserve it. Talk about love and giving sacrificially!
Jesus paid the ultimate price and taught us the true meaning of Christmas. If our great God in heaven came down to earth, robed himself in flesh to die for us, who am I to worry about "stuff." What are material things compared to the sacrifice that was given so I could have eternal life and salvation? If my children get anything out of Christmas, I don't want it to be how expensive their toys are or the brand name on the tag inside their clothes, but why we celebrate and who we celebrate. His love for them is greater than anything I could ever do for them. That's the real meaning behind season.
"Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends." John 15:13