Now I am not talking about the pressurized list of “must haves” or “must finds.” That is a bit stressful, (though I must confess that no one has ever put that demand on me.)
No, I am talking about those days of just going out into the masses and walking through the shops, checking out the wares, and mingling with humanity. Yes, I know it is crowded and parking spaces are few and the weather is cold and often wet, but there is something I find uplifting about enjoying the warmth of others or discovering a little special something that I know a certain someone will like and not expect.
I also enjoy walking through neighborhoods and seeing all the festive lights and decorations (though not quite to Griswold proportion). I appreciate the effort and expense that many people incur to celebrate the season in such a public fashion.
And yet I need to remind myself that the very first Christmas was a quiet one, with only one very special gift, planned before the beginning of time and meant for all humanity. So after I have enjoyed an afternoon or evening of rubbing shoulders with my fellow man, I return to the quiet of my own home and think about God’s gift to each one of us. The only gift we will ever need and the only one that is absolutely free—Jesus.