Ist World Problems

JesusRecently my wife and I began the yearly talk about gifts for the family. We try so hard to teach our kids that the Holidays are much more about what you give than what you get. They will be told to be thankful for what they have––not what they want. My daughter recently prayed, “Thank you for the puppy I am going to get for Christmas!” Talk about a name it and––never mind… Don’t get me wrong, gifts for your kids are great, and trust me when I tell you…I LOVE GIFTS!

Every year I begin to take inventory of my possessions and find that I do not need as much as I think I do. Yes, a new pair of running shoes––so that I will start running this year. Then there is…the let’s get a juicer so I can finally start to eat healthy. What about that new book, as if I don’t already have 17 books stacked on my desk that have yet to be read. Then there are the sporting goods. For crying out loud, don’t tell Jen, but I have the whole Youth Baseball Department in the back of my vehicle. I have a lot of stuff!

I think of our western culture, America. We celebrate Thanksgiving on Thursday, November 28, and then on Friday, November 29, we celebrate “Black Friday.” That is a horrible back to back holiday couple. A day of being thankful for all that God gave us, then we go right into a day of “Let’s get more” and “Do it Cheap!” Such a 1st world problem.

At our house, we put up our Christmas tree, the wreath, the Santa countdown (don’t hate or send email), and then a really precious time of putting up the Nativity. The kids gather around and do the placement. Somehow the animals are always right near baby Jesus. (Due to OCD issues I have to fix it later that night.) Then we bring in the Christmas Advent Calendar and begin the journey of the birth of Jesus, all right in our living room.  All of sudden, as we focus on the Nativity, it doesn’t matter what we have. The 1st World Problems melt away to this little 3rd World countryside, where the Reason for the Season was born!