Herald-Journal
Howard Lake-Waverly Herald, Dec. 10, 2001

Ten (borrowed) ideas for a good Christmas

By LYNDA JENSEN

In the spirit of Christmas, I thought this might be interesting (I borrowed it from the Internet).

Here are 10 ideas for planning Christmas:

1. Prepare early. Don't wait until the last minute to try to get into the Christmas spirit (Obviously this is advice I borrowed. I always shop on Dec. 22 or 23.)

2. Keep Christ at the center of Christmas. Don't allow yourself to be overwhelmed by the commercialism of the season. Resolve to read one of the Gospels during December and meditate upon what it means that Christ came into the world. (Yes, by all means necessary, do this.)

3. Make Christmas a family time. Do things together: decorate the tree, play games, bake cookies, shop, write cards, have devotionals, and go caroling. (Don't kill your kids while you are doing this. Try to be patient.)

4. Remember those who are less fortunate. Contribute to an organization serving the needs of others throughout the year. (Do this all year long, especially in January, when the spirit of Christmas is forgotten. This is when the homeless and other people need us the most.)

5. Put some thought into the gifts you purchase. Give a gift that represents you. If possible, make something instead of buying something.

6. Learn to be a good receiver. Most of us have more trouble receiving than we do giving.

(I strongly believe that a gift is something that should be given without reservation or thoughts of what is to be given in return . . . anything less is a transaction. Please give your gifts freely, without thought to what you will receive in return . . . with a cheerful heart. It's the best way - only way - possible)

7. Put music into Christmas! Buy several albums and wear them out. Attend the church's cantatas and special Christmas programs. Sing carols as a family.

8. Slow down, for crying out loud! You'll break your neck one of these days! Remember, Christmas is supposed to be a season of peace, not anxiety.

9. Remember to worship. The church is the place you are most likely to be reminded of the true meaning of Christmas.

10 Receive the Christ into your life as Christ and Lord. Every tongue will confess He is King of Kings and Lord of Lords.

The meaning of candy canes:

The pure white part of the candy is for the virgin birth of Jesus and his sinlessness.

It is made into the letter "J" so that all may be reminded that it is by the name of Jesus that we are saved from our sins. It also resembles a shepherd's staff, so that we think of Jesus as our shepherd, our Saviour and Lord.

To remember the awful price of Jesus' love for us all, a candy cane is colored red to tell of the blood He shed to save us all from our sins.

And so was made the candy cane: crafted in love, and made to help us remember the costly love of Jesus.


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