Christmas is just two days away! Do you have your shopping done? Have you taken your kids to talk to Santa Claus? What about the stocking stuffers, last-minute grocery shopping for Christmas dinner and Christmas Eve snacks? Hurry, hurry, hurry ... but wait. Isn’t it time to slow down?

Christmas is just two days away! Do you have your shopping done? Have you taken your kids to talk to Santa Claus? What about the stocking stuffers, last-minute grocery shopping for Christmas dinner and Christmas Eve snacks? Hurry, hurry, hurry ... but wait. Isn’t it time to slow down?

You might wonder how you can possibly slow down when there’s so much you need to accomplish – between work, the kids, family coming in from out of town, and what about that sweater for Uncle David, DVD for cousin Cindy, socks for sister Kim, and mailing those packages you planned to send a couple of weeks ago?

Well, take a deep breath. Rest assured, if those packages don’t arrive on time, it’s not the end of the world. Your family and friends will understand. Uncle David will never forget that sweater you sent that didn’t exactly fit and is the ugliest thing he thinks he has ever seen. But he’ll laugh and remember your thoughtfulness and think of you every time he sees it folded in his drawer. Your cousin Cindy will joyfully say thanks for the DVD that she knows she’ll never watch but might eventually play some lazy afternoon just because it reminds her of you. Those socks that you give to your sister Kimberly might be the perfect gift, and she’ll treasure them because you gave them to her.  

Even with all of the hustle and bustle, there is a feeling of love and joy in the air. Do you feel it? Have you slowed down enough to think about the reason for the season? That’s exactly what it took for me to reflect upon the many blessings in my life. God’s gift to us was His son, the Christ child who came to show us the way to live our lives.

I don’t know about you, but I love to give gifts to others as we celebrate the birth of Christ. Yes, there’s that warm feeling of seeing friends and family open gifts, but it goes beyond that. We give gifts just as the wise men gave gifts to the King. We give gifts in remembrance of the gift God gave to us.

A couple of days ago my dad and I spent the good part of a day together, which is not something we do often. That was a tremendous gift he gave to me, whether he knew it or not. The gift of his time, his sharing in conversation, shopping, eating and, frankly, just being together.   

When my sister and her fiancé were here for a four-day weekend, we shared in our gift giving on Sunday night. When we gave gifts to one another, I thought of the Christ child again and how the gifts we were giving were in remembrance of the gift He gave to us.

In February 2007, a close friend of mine, Barb Postnikoff, passed away. She gave me something very special that I wear every year. It is a long-sleeved, button-up jean shirt that she hand-embroidered. On the front are a candy cane, a star, a turtle dressed up like a reindeer carrying a Christmas gift on his back, green and red ornaments, and holly. On the back is a Precious Moments girl in a Christmas dress hanging ornaments on the antlers of a reindeer. A basket of green and red ornaments sits between them.

There is a phrase embroidered on the front of the shirt that I am holding in my hand. It says, “Slow Down And Enjoy The Holidays.”