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Devotionals 2011 - 2012

An Early Christmas
November 16, 2011 By Ed Wrather

11.16.11

Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift! - 2 Corinthians 9:15 NKJV.

The word is that the "Black Friday" shopping day after Thanksgiving has been pushed back by some stores and will actually begin on Thanksgiving Day. Christmas decorating and shopping seems to come earlier every year. A few days ago, 44-year-old Terry Trent who lives in Ohio, was already putting up Christmas decorations in a home. Trent lit the Christmas candle and put out the Christmas wreath; then he settled in to watch a little TV, and enjoy his bath salts (what!?). According to the police report Trent, who was high on bath salts, broke into a home; put up Christmas decorations, and then relaxed on the family couch watching some TV. A family member discovered the man when he came home, and the man said, "I'm sorry. I didn't mean to scare you. I'll get my things and go." Trent has been arrested. I am wondering what he has been charged with...maybe, unlawful and early Christmas decorating? (Orange News 11.14.11)

It is sad that the retail shopping season has intruded on families being together on Thanksgiving Day here in the United States. Last year, when I was paying for some things at a store, the clerk was almost in tears having just found out that she was scheduled to work on Thanksgiving Day. She was newly married and had been looking forward to spending her first Thanksgiving Day with her husband. Since I did not see her at the store after that day, I believe she must have decided some things were more important than her employer's desire to make money. I do realize that the economic reality is that many of us simply must work on holidays, whether it is Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter, or another day. In addition, protecting public safety requires that many be in their place of service to protect and serve on holidays. Doctors, nurses, EMTs and countless others give of their holiday time to serve others. However, I am certainly in favor of sparing as many people from having to do that as possible.

What is Thanksgiving really all about? It is about giving thanks to our God for all that we have. It is also about thanking God for a Savior, Jesus Christ. What is Christmas about, or should it be about? It is the celebration of the birth of our Savior and Lord, Jesus Christ. Maybe it is okay to celebrate Christmas early on Thanksgiving by giving thanks to God for Jesus. In fact, maybe it would be okay to celebrate Christmas early every day by giving thanks to God for our Savior, Jesus Christ. "Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift!"

However, that does not mean that I have to like "Black Friday", or retailers forcing employees to work on Thanksgiving Day. So, instead of having employees work on Thanksgiving, perhaps the employer should trust God to provide the sales that they need on the other days before Christmas. Hmm? Maybe God would bless a decision like that? I think He would!! And, maybe those of us who have been participating in the mad scramble to buy Christmas gifts on Thanksgiving, and on Black Friday should just opt out this year. Maybe God would bless a decision like that? I think He would!!

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