or are you just counting the cost?
Sometime this month the bills for the credit cards many of us used to pay for Christmas, will start dropping through our letter boxes. Some of us will pay the bill in full. Some of us will pay a substantial amount of it, and some will just pay the minimum amount. For some people, paying for this Christmas will continue until next Christmas.
We seem to be determined to have a good Christmas, whether we can afford to or not but how much value to we get from it?
Counting the cost is easy, just add up the bills from the supermarket and the toy shops, but working out the value is not. How many of us look at the value of Christmas only in terms of the cost of the gifts we receive? I suspect that those of us that call ourselves Christians do it too to some extent, myself included as much as I try not to.
As I age, I hesitate to say mature, I am finding more value in the things that do not cost money, the things that can not be bought. Things! I suppose things is, strictly speaking, inaccurate because what I am talking about is intangible and untouchable.
I have a home full of stuff. Some stuff is necessary, like cleaning products, tools for repairs a means of cooking. Probably more than half of my and your stuff is unnecessary; Christmas gifts will just add to it. Probably half of all this year’s presents, whoever receives them, will be in a charity shop or bin long before next Christmas, so much of the cost will have been wasted but what about the value?
At Jesus’ birth he was given gifts of lambs, by shepherds, and of gold, frankincense and myrrh by the magi; wise men from the east. The magi’s gifts were expensive but in terms of value were worth the same as the shepherds’ lambs. The value of the gifts was not in the cost but in the spirit they were given and what they represented.
How many of us, I wonder, will remember that someone cared, or valued us enough to buy us a gift at all.