Christmas Inspiration"May that bright star seen in a December sky remind us of the star that guided the wise men so long ago."
During my drive home from a Bible study, the car radio blasted commercials on every selected station: “Get your shopping done early…” My tranquil mood tensed, and worry crept in like an unwanted flood. But I had made up my mind after last December’s rush-rush season, this year our family would give gifts created from personal talents.
Since I enjoyed writing my thoughts, I would write memories of my adult daughters and son from their earlier years. I would bake their favorite Christmas treats to wrap with each essay. Dinner in our home would hopefully remind them of their personal Christmas recollections. The surprise visits of loving grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins.
That evening I slipped from the bed unable to sleep as the “hurry and shop commercials” echoed in my thoughts. As I sat in the living room near the blue-illumined crèche, I pondered Christmas tranquility. My essays to family members would focus on each one’s loving traits. Fresh peace soothed me and tranquil memories flooded my thoughts as I penned the notes. Soon, I would bake and freeze Christmas treats to send with the essays. In the crèche scene glow, I prayed for a Christmas meditation to include with each essay.
Inspiration filled my thoughts with this meditation:
“Heavenly Father, another Christmas is around the corner, so please help me keep in mind what is the most precious gift to share with my family and friends. May the First Christmas in Bethlehem stay in my thoughts during prayer and worship times—that the stable with its simple surroundings became magnificent with the birth of Your Son, Jesus!
In the giving of heartfelt gifts, Lord, help me to be patient while in crowded stores as I shop for home essentials and groceries. Help me to keep cheerful even if squeezed in a long checkout line.
Nudge me, Lord, to pause with a donation rather than rush to my car or bus in inclement weather. The Bell Ringers who collect financial gifts to help the needy volunteer their time in all kinds of weather.
Assist me to enjoy peace while baking bread and cookies to share with family, friends, and the shut-ins we visit. Guide my thoughts as I write cards that include personal caring words so that each card becomes a visit to share the season’s joy. Please aid me from becoming too entranced with the merchandise displays so I may focus instead on the joy of loving and worshiping You, Lord.
Guide me, too, Lord, to not give my family more than they can humanly appreciate even if an unexpected check arrives with bonus funds. May we share those dollars with those who might not otherwise experience Your kind of love, Lord. I still recall the lean years when gifts created with hands and love made a Christmas filled with spirit.
Gifts from the heart can be priceless whether costly or not. They convey love between the giver and recipient. And the precious gift in today’s hectic world is the giving of time and self for others’ benefits in the name of love. We pray in Jesus’ name. Amen.”
And Acts 20:35b conveys it in Jesus’ words: “It is more blessed to give than to receive.” (NIV). May that bright star seen in a December sky remind us of the star that guided the wise men so long ago. Amen.
Audrey Carli, widowed mother of four, has been a freelance writer of articles and three books for over 35 years. She has taught creative writing and is a speaker of inspirational topics. She lives in Iron River, MI.