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Christmas In Different Places

As Christmas draws near, what will your Christmas celebration look like?

For instance in Japan, Christmas is not a major holiday! Sadly, because of the low number of Christians (about 1% of the population) and lack of Christians traditions, Christmas is a minor event in Japan. But in recent years, the ideas of Christmas have grown, like light displays and giving of gifts. But the one tradition that is odd, is the eating of Fried Chicken on Christmas! KFC has become the de facto Christmas meal.

Another odd Christmas Eve tradition, can be found in Norway, where people hide their brooms. It’s a tradition that dates back centuries to when people believed that witches and evil spirits came out on Christmas Eve looking for brooms to ride on. To this day, many people still hide their brooms in the safest place in the house to stop them from being stolen.

Everyone has their way of celebrating Christmas, it may include family gatherings, giving of gifts, eating ham, or going on vacation to avoid the shopping malls! However you and your loved ones celebrate Christmas, can we include Christ!

I love gifts, and large meals, but that is not the essence of Christmas! The essence is the spirit of Jesus on Earth. I hope we can exhibit the spirit of Christmas during the season? Yes, going shopping and looking for that parking space can be annoying. Yes, the endless search for that perfect present is exhausting. As Christians, let’s be differentfrom the secular perspective of Christmas and demonstrate “good cheer”, patience, generosity, thoughtfulness, and many of the traits that Jesus demonstrated. That is the essence of Christmas, being like Jesus. For Christmas should not be hijacked by the shopping experience.

I have a suggestion for the people, how about cleaning out our closets, garage, and the back of the closet and donate what you haven’t used in years to the relief organization’s(Goodwill or Salvation Army). They are always looking for means to help the community. How about donating to agencies like World Vision, so that your donation willbuy a village a water well or a sewing machine. You can also volunteer a few hours helping at your children’s school.

There are so many ways to shine the essence of Christmas this year, it starts with your heart and mind, then let God take it from there.

Rev. Steve Lee