I used  to  hate the  Christmas  season .  It was so commercial  and crowded  stores  full of grouchy people were never very appealing to me.  Money  was always tight, but more  so in the last  few years, and buying gifts for family you rarely  ever see was difficult at best.  Most gifts were not really appreciated  and some felt that money gifts were too impersonal .
A couple  of  years  ago ,  I  suggested  everyone  draw names and then  offer 2 or 3 suggestions  about what they  would  like to have .   That  way everyone  would  only  have  to  buy one gift and everyone  would get something  they really wanted.  Not  everyone  would  agree to  that . So…I   decided  to start a new tradition of no giving  or receiving  gifts  among  ourselves .  After all, everybody  was having  financial  trouble as well and could  use less stress on their  checkbooks .
I guess that  decision didn’t  set too well with many because instead  of visits  I  got texts instead.
I understood  that  as they were  used to snacks and games  and  presents  all the years prior and  the  change made them feel sort  of  rejected  while it made me feel sort of used.
But through it all a wonderful  Christmas  miracle  happened!   With the huge stress and worry gone ,  I  actually found  myself enjoying  the  season  with  the  bright  lights  and beautiful  decorations  and the wonderful  music.  I even enjoyed the crowds  and smiling   at people  and having  them smile back.  At church  on Christmas  Eve, the true meaning of the season rang through loud and clear  for  me. This Baby was born to save us all  and there never  was. ….nor  will  there ever be a greater gift than  that!
I plan to  continue  this new tradition. 
Try it…..and feel the grace!


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