When you see the Salvation Army bell ringers, what goes through your mind? Is it annoyance at having to hear the bell ring? Do you put your head down and hope the person won’t talk to you? Perhaps because you don’t have any change with you or perhaps because you feel a slight twinge of guilt at knowing you don’t plan to give. I’m not here to convince you to put money in those red buckets, just to get us thinking.
What if we thought of the people who will benefit from the loose change people throw in?
What if we stopped and thanked the person ringing that bell? Thanked them for giving of their time, for giving up warmth & time in front of the TV to ring that bell and raise money for the less fortunate.
What if that bell ringing could stop us in our tracks and remind us of what this season is truly about?
We sometimes lose our focus when the holiday season comes around. Sure, we remember to thank God for all we have when Thanksgiving comes around. But then it seems the next week we put our spiritual "minds" in neutral as we put the car in drive to go to the local Wal-Mart to go Christmas shopping. This shouldn't be!
What better time to share the greatest gift ever given than during our Savior's Birthday. Yet it seems such ideas get lost somewhere down aisle 25 between the tinsel and the Christmas tree stands. My family always celebrates the birth of our Savior by reading the Christmas story on Christmas Eve. That's a wonderful idea, and it should be done. But maybe that’s a little too late! Maybe if we began reading the Christmas story, say, right after New Years, and then read it one time every week until Christmas (or more!) we might have a better focus on why we celebrate Christmas in the first place!
How many hours of shopping, eating, playing and TV watching do we do during the holidays? A lot of prep work goes into the Christmas gifts, the Christmas dinner and the Christmas tree.
Yet, I wonder, how much preparation do we give our souls when celebrating the birth of Christ on Christmas Day?
Don't get me wrong. I think the idea of retelling the Christmas story and other Christmas traditions are a great idea. But let's not lose our focus on why we do these things.