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Time is flying by. Christmas will be here and gone before we know what hit us, leaving a wake of gift wrap, credit card debt, and extra pounds. But hopefully we will have also created memories to outlast the Christmas carnage. I hear a lot of bellyaching about Christ not being born in winter at all, but winter is cold, dark, and depressing so what better time to celebrate hope and family? Sure we’ve commercialized the crap out of it and buried the true meaning under so much tinsel we may go blind looking for it but my family and I are going simple this year.

We went so far out of our budget over the summer we’re still catching up so presents will be fewer this year but that may not be a bad thing. Scaling back the extras dials back the stress, and that makes for a merrier Christmas. What is the point of spending time with family and friends if you are going to make yourself and each other miserable trying to cram stuff into an over extended budget or credit card? What happened to the good ‘ole days when we made or gave gifts that meant something to us?

This Christmas I’ll be happy to squeeze a Christmas Eve service into my family schedule and I will try to focus on what really has worth. (Hint: It’s people.) Whether I can keep my attention there with all the shiny distractions of the season is yet to be seen but it’s the goal anyway. My problem is that I love my family and I want them to have all the nice things I see in the stores but I get so wrapped up in the moment that I miss the point. These things will offer temporary happiness but will they truly make my loved ones’ lives better? Will they really find love under the wrapping paper and tinsel? That is what I need to focus on not just the price tag.

Merry Christmas to all and I will see you in the new year.

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