Hear, hear. Some great spiritual and emotional value is added to the Christmas holiday when trees are trimmed, lights lit, and gifts are exchanged between people who love each other. What gifts, and how extravagant they are (individually & cumulatively), influence the benefit yielded - are we taking the time to select, purchase, make or donate on behalf of someone a meaningful present for those we care deeply about?; or are we tearing the doors open of some retailer on Black Friday (and increasingly, and disgracefully, Thanksgiving night) to stuff a cart full of items that are a but a thoughtless "bargain"? As an example,the mere act of bringing a small gift to an aging and shut-in relative, or a teen who sees the world as cold & uncaring, or a single-parent who doesn't have the time or means to get out as much, can be so uplifting of the person - the giver and recipient, both - and validating of our Christian faith's mandate "Love one another." So please - leave the ashes and sackcloth for Lent; put on the festive trappings of Christmas, but keep the Christ-child's spirit at the core of it.
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