The Giving Season
Twinkling lights, hot cocoa by a fireplace, the gathering of friends and family, and tons of ads on the TV all trying to get us to spend money on the newest and most exciting trend or craze. These days the holidays and Christmas have gotten to be about presents and material things instead of what really matters. Don’t get me wrong, I am as big a fan of receiving presents as the next guy, but the older I get, the more joy I am filled with as I spend Christmas with family that I don’t get to see very often or watching my children light up when they see Santa. I am reminded of how much joy and peace is found in simplicity.
I am reminded that this season has humble and simple origins. A baby born of a virgin came to this earth surrounded by animals and was laid in a manger full of straw for a bed. The King of kings did not have a royal parade to announce his birth, but oh what I wouldn’t give to have been one of those shepherds tending to their flocks when the heavens opened wide with the angels proclaiming the birth of the savior. All the kings and queens of every nation through the years never had their own star in the sky to mark their birthday either. If they had, the birth of the one true king wouldn’t have been set apart.
Those humble beginnings should be remembered this Christmas. We need to be a blessing to our fellow man. That baby who entered the world in a stable lived a life of service and humility. He led a perfect life, showed love to everyone regardless of who they were, and became the perfect gift for every person who ever walked the face of the earth. As we attend the company Christmas party, gather with family, and exchange presents with one another, let’s not forget the true reason for the season.
Imagine if you will that everyday of the year held the peace and serenity that is found on Christmas morning. Grief and sorrow would be nowhere to be found. Compassion and understanding would take the place of arguing and hatred for one another. If we could solve our differences by talking through them instead of thinking our own way was the only way to do things, the world would be a much better place.
I’m not a preacher, I’m far from a saint, and I can promise you that this rancher from Nebraska doesn’t have all the answers. My challenge to all of you reading this is to be the gift this season. Be a blessing to all those that you encounter. All of the money in the world cannot buy kindness. We can spread Christmas cheer by simply being kind to one another. Hold the door for someone, shovel the snow on your neighbor’s sidewalk, or do more than you think is your share of the household chores. Be the light that brightens someone’s day so they can do the same.
That’s all for this time. If you have never heard the true story of Christmas, do yourself a favor and take you and your family to a Christmas Eve Service at your local church this year. In the meantime, pray for moisture and keep tabs on your side of the barbed wire. God Bless.
Meinzer is a fourth-generation rancher raised on the southeastern plains of Colorado. He and his family live and ranch in Oshkosh, Neb.