It's coming to that time of the year again. Presents, family get togethers (in some cases), holidays, and calculating your finances.
As we wander through the various shopping centres we are faced with endless enticements. We hear Jingle Bells and a collection of other Santamas songs. If we are lucky we may even hear some Christmas ones included. We see big images of Santa and, if you are like me, you recognise atheisms hand in the loss of Christmas. Movies and cartoons on television further indoctrinate children to see Christmas as Santamas.
I remember when young, people telling me that Christmas is about giving. They said it is better to give than to receive. Yet to me this wasn't how I felt. Mind you I wasn't too impressed when aunties gave me socks, handkercheifs or underwear. But as my mother was a single parent (my parents having split and divorced when I was one) she was glad to save some money on those items.
I never really found the joy in giving instead of receiving at Christmas until I went on my mission in December. No presents had come but I was out serving others. Suddenly I felt the good feeling that comes from service without expecting something.
The concept of Santa is the idea that some guy is just going to give you something you don't really deserve. The focus isn't on going out and doing this to others. It is on the concept of just receiving something. This is opposite to what Christ taught of giving of yourself to others, and wanting nothing in return.
The sorts of things that would really make a true Christmas would be to look forward to acts of service on this day, to remember that Christ came (among other things) to give of himself.
I'd like to wish everyone a happy Christmas time. Think on the poor and lonely. And if you help them out your Christmas will be so much the better.