It’s the season to be generous! If there’s any season where gifts are shared widely and generously, it is Christmas time. Historically, Christmas is the season set apart to mark the birth of Jesus Christ, God’s Indescribable Gift to mankind. Nothing can compare to God’s gift of His only Son to us. How do we celebrate this Gift? How do we appreciate the Giver of this Gift? As human beings, what expression can suffice to show the recognition and appreciation we have for this Great Gift? We sing songs, we give praise. We worship. And every year at Christmas, we try to focus and draw attention to the Gift of God!

So, in a sense, I agree with the idea of giving out gifts, as a way of sharing the joy we have. Indeed, it is joy to the world when our Saviour is born! Like the angels announced to the shepherds that night of His birth, it is glad tidings of great joy! This joy is better enjoyed when it is shared. This has been known to motivate wild and sometimes excessive spending. People give out Christmas cards, gift hampers, bags of rice, turkey, chicken, chocolates and all manner of personalized gifts.  Also, there are many events, Carol services both public and private, parties, concerts, all manner of entertaining events and lots and lots of food. Can anyone imagine Christmas without some excesses? It’s either you are eating too much or drinking too much or not indulging at all! Talk of some extreme behavior!

While enjoying the ‘jolly’ season, it would be wise not to throw all caution to the wind. Shopping can be crazy but remember to watch your spending. Merchants can be very enticing with their special offers at this time, both in the shops and on line stores. It’s good to have a list and follow it as strictly as possible. No spontaneous purchases! In fact, as much as possible, stay away from the shops once you finish your legal (list-based) shopping. That way, you can at least try to resist some temptations.

Talking of temptations, over-eating is another major one at this time. Over-eating and excessive drinking. You still want to be alive and healthy after Christmas and you don’t want to start the new year with a Christmas baggage of indebtedness, overweight and possibly a DUI or worse! In our enjoyment, let us be wise, sober and sane. It doesn’t reduce our joy. Rather, it ensures we can store up sweet memories devoid of regret.

One more thing. Christmas is also a time to see family members and spend time with them. Remember to be forgiving and nice. Don’t store up offence. Let everything that happens at Christmas remain there. No carry over grudges, no root of bitterness. Enjoy each other’s company as much as you can, although some people can be really difficult to be with! Be patient with them. Relish the fact that you are alive and able to relate with people. Not everyone has this opportunity and more than at any other time, loneliness is heightened at Christmas time.

So, be jolly. Allow yourself to give joy and receive joy. Don’t be stuck up. Christmas comes only once a year. Allow yourself to relax and enjoy it. Allow others around you to enjoy it too. Be wise. Be temperate. Be generous. Don’t throw away self-control. Rejoice! Celebrate! Stay sober!

Fa la la la la la la la la!!!