Readying for Christmas brings out the best, worst in us

Mary Landrieu out of step
December 16, 2014
Letters to the editor: Victims are people, not stats
December 16, 2014
Mary Landrieu out of step
December 16, 2014
Letters to the editor: Victims are people, not stats
December 16, 2014

There’s a story about a young couple who decided to sell their home. They hired a real estate agent to help them call attention to the positive aspects of their domicile. The agent wrote an elaborate description of the young couple’s property and read to them for their approval. As he read it, the young couple listened intently. “This is a charming little house,” he read, “with a cozy feel to it that will make you feel right at home.”

The real estate agent went on to extol the merits of the house, and when he finished, the husband turned to him and said, “Read it again, please.” Then he glanced at his wife and they closed their eyes for the agent’s second reading.

When the agent had finished, the husband and wife looked at each other, then turned to the agent and said, “I don’t think we are going to sell. For a long time, I’ve been dreaming about such a place as you’ve just described. When you read that description, I realize that I was already living in it.” His wife smiled in agreement.

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if someone would do that for us – read to us all the wonderful gifts and graces in life that God has given us: our home, our health, our friends, our family, our faith, and our freedoms. What a wonderful thing it would be if our eyes could be opened to the many blessings we have received. Maybe we would be more appreciative and grateful for the wonderful life and blessings we already have.

During this Christmas time when we are busy buying new things for our family and friends, let us not forget God’s many gifts to us. Let us pause and give thanks for all the Divine Giver has bestowed upon us and our friends. Let us never take what we have for granted.

A reader sent me the following Christmas Ten Commandments:

1. Thou shall give your heart to Christ. Let Jesus be at the top of your Christmas list.

2. Thou shall prepare your heart for Christ. Don’t spend too much on gifts that are forgotten.

3. Thou shall not let Santa Claus replace Christ, thus robbing the day of its spiritual reality.

4. Thou shall not burden the salespersons, postal clerks, and merchants with petty complaints and demands.

5. Thou shall give yourself with your gifts. This will increase their value a hundred fold, and those who receive them shall treasure them forever.

6. Thou shall not value the gifts you receive by their costs. Even the least expensive gift that is given in love, is more priceless than any silver or gold.

7. Thou shall not neglect the needy. Share your blessings with those who are hungry or cold.

8. Thou shall not neglect your church. Its services highlight the true meaning of the season.

9. Thou shall have the mind and heart of a little child. Unless you have the attitude and the openness of a little one, you are not ready to enter the Kingdom of God.

10. Thou shall not forget to share your joy, hope, peace, love and faith with those around you.

The following is a prayer for this season:

Lord Jesus, please forgive us for being so grumpy as we trudge through the never-ending tasks set before us during this holiday season. Restore the joy of this season to our hearts and help us to relax each day and make time for you, our one true Source of Joy. Help us to be the faithful, gracious, loving, giving and forgiving persons you would have us to be. Help us to remember our brothers and sisters who are less fortunate in this season of giving. Amen.