That first Christmas was dirty and dingy and wasn't attended by anyone important. There weren't even any gifts that night. The gifts came later when the important dudes showed up.
For the next two weeks my BBC (Blunt Bible Club) kids, the teenagers in my church, two adults and me are preparing for our Christmas play performance which is scheduled for Friday, Dec 20 at 7 p.m. I wrote the play. It is called I Believe.
It is the Christmas story we all love. It has a bit of humor and a bit of singing.
I've been fretting about it. We will really only have two practices before the performance, but I chose simplicity recently and it has made it a whole lot better. I walked through it myself last weekend and cut out a few blocks of dialogue. The costumes will much simpler than originally planned. And there will only one prop that needs to be moved a couple of times. That is the manger.
Go simple this season. A lot of stuff is not necessary. I love the presents. I'm totally not against presents. They are so much fun to give. And I'm not against parties -- enjoy yourself (though I don't do parties normally. I'd rather sit in bed and read a book).
But focus on relationships, building them, making them better, getting closer to the ones you love.
That's why Jesus was born for us so long ago anyway -- to be in a relationship with us. A real relationship.
Don't give gifts to impress.
Don't go somewhere just to be seen.
Whatever you do this Christmas season do it in love, and do things that show your love and appreciation to those in your life.
"For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us . . . And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty Gd, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace." Isaiah 9:6