Forty Percent off Christmas

I was researching some Christmas stories, "Name that Christmas Carol " games and what not when I happened on an articles by Tom Miller written in 1999.

It seems applicable even now and so I felt to share it --Enjoy!

Forty Percent Off Christmas
by Tom Miller

40 % OFF CHRISTMAS the sign said. I paused for a moment. It caught me by surprise. 40% off Christmas?It caught her by surprise too,I think,when I stopped to ask,"Which 40% of Christmas are you taking off?"
Of course, it was an after Christmas sale.There was 40% off Christmas decorations, and the like. But the sign just said,"40% off Christmas." I never got around to telling her, but I kind of liked the sign.
You see, I'd like to take about 40% off Christmas too. Not in an after Christmas sale, mind you. But in the before Christmas time--
What if we'd take about 40% off the time that we have to endure the pre-Christmas, ads, sales, and marketing campaign? Maybe we could enjoy the season a bit more, and not be so fed up with it all by mid-December.
What if we'd diminish our expectations of what makes a "Merry Christmas" by about 40%? Maybe we could not be so depressed when it is all over. Or maybe, just maybe, we could relate a bit better to those for whom Christmas isn't very "merry" at all--the grieving, the sick, those who are alone, the poor.
Or what if, we'd spend about 40% less on gifts, parties, clothes, and dinners? Maybe we would still give, enjoy, and share in ways that brought true glory to the God who gave the first gift--the gift of Jesus Christ.
Maybe we ought to take off about 40% of the things we do, the lights we put up, the pageants we go to, the time we run to shop for that one last gift. Such a discount might make way for us to give more time for focus on what really matters in Christmas. I, for one, happen to think that Christmas has gotten way out of hand. Too much, too early for way too long. Time, money, energy, and all the rest.
I, for one, happen to think that a 40% discount isn't a bad idea at all. Stripping away 40% would leave 60%.
40% off Christmas leaves CHRIST--And that's what this Day, (not the 2 months before) are all about anyway--The Christ,God's gift of salvation. It's about how God first gave, so we could serve God, and bring glory to our Creator, by giving for each other.
So, let's do it!! 40% off Christmas. Then CHRIST will be left and we can celebrate the real reason for the season.
by Tom O. Miller
Bloomfield, NE December 28, 1999

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