The reason for the season

Around late September, when the Santa decorations first pop up at Wal-Mart, my thoughts turn to the holidays. Not the ones you’d usually associate with pre-fall: Halloween, Veteran’s Day or Thanksgiving.

I’m thinking Christmas … right after, “Wow, they sure are putting Santa out early,” that is.

This year, the holiday has left me wondering if we’ve completely gotten off track. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE Christmas. From “Jingle Bells” to roasting chestnuts, cooler temperatures and nicer attitudes in the checkout lines, I love it all. Bring on the 17th showing of “The Christmas Story” and the 100th viewing of “How the Grinch Stole Christmas.” I’m ready.

But when the lights are hung, the last gift is purchased and the cookies are ready to serve, it’s time to get back to the REAL reason for the season.

The greatest gift we’ll ever receive isn’t under the tree. It didn’t come in a shiny box with a bright bow. It doesn’t run on batteries and it doesn’t have a price tag … but it is priceless.

For Christians, Dec. 25 marks the birthday of Christ, our savior. A babe born of little means on a cold winter’s night in a simple manger brought the promise of salvation for all. It’s the birth of the infant and the hope of eternal life that is the one gift American Express can’t cover. And it’s the reason I LOVE Christmas.

So, from all of us at the Gumbo Entertainment Guide, here’s wishing you peace, love and a blessed holiday season.