Why we need Christ­mas

Record Observer - - RELIGION - By DR. GLEN MOLLETTE

Mer­chants around the world de­pend on the Christ­mas sea­son each year for 20 to 50 per­cent of their yearly sales.

The travel in­dus­try from air­lines to gaso­line sta­tions see a nice bump dur­ing the hol­i­days. Peo­ple are go­ing to buy air­plane tick­ets and buy gaso­line.

Gro­cery stores do bet­ter dur­ing the hol­i­days.

Peo­ple cook more for Thanks­giv­ing, Christ­mas and New Year. The al­co­hol in­dus­try does well dur­ing hol­i­days. Wine,

Beer and Bour­bon Whiskey all do well nor­mally and more so dur­ing De­cem­ber.

Char­i­ties and Churches en­joy De­cem­ber. Peo­ple give more money to the church in De­cem­ber than any other month. Peo­ple who want to give make sure their gifts are given by Dec. 31. Churches nor­mally have special chil­dren and mu­sic pro­grams dur­ing the month that in­creases at­ten­dance.

Coun­selors see a spike in ac­tiv­ity dur­ing De­cem­ber. More peo­ple are de­pressed dur­ing the Christ­mas and New Year’s Eve hol­i­days than any other time of the year.

Fu­neral homes are busy in De­cem­ber and Jan­uary. Check your lo­cal fu­neral home obit­u­ar­ies for last De­cem­ber and Jan­uar y and you’ll be amazed at how many funer­als took place.

Fit­ness cen­ters and gyms across the coun­try pre­pare for their big­gest month of the year, which is Jan­uary. Mil­lions of peo­ple will drag into their lo­cal fit­ness cen­ter and sign up for a 12-month mem­ber­ship. About 50 per­cent of these peo­ple or less will only use their mem­ber­ships a few times dur­ing the year but will be stuck in 12 month con­tracts.

Christ­mas is a prof­itable time for many it seems.

The greater value of this won­der­ful sea­son comes with the op­por­tu­ni­ties of Christ­mas.

You have a good ex­cuse to call or visit peo­ple. Christ­mas is about per­sonal re­la­tion­ships and con­nect­ing to real peo­ple. The Christ­mas story is about a per­sonal God who came as a real per­son to help real peo­ple with real needs.

Christ­mas is fam­ily time. Don’t ex­clude any­body. God is in­clu­sive. He came to love all the peo­ple of the world. There are al­ways peo­ple who feel ex­cluded, unloved and seem to be the rag muf­fin per­son in the fam­ily. No one is per­fect. Ev­ery­one has failed in dif­fer­ent ways.

Christ­mas is a dif­fer­ent day. Stores, most res­tau­rants, work­places and busi­nesses are closed on Christ­mas. What are you go­ing to do? Be happy, re­flect, give thanks and don’t feel sorry for your­self. Take time to fo­cus on the one that so many Christ­mas songs have been writ­ten about, “Christ, The Sav­ior is born.”

We need Christ­mas be­cause we need The Sav­ior of Christ­mas. We need peace on earth and good will to men. We need a Si­lent Night and a holy night. We need the Joy to the World as sung in the famed Christ­mas Carol. We need to know the grave is not the end. We need to have the hope of eter­nal life. We need help to deal with our grief and strength to face to­mor­row. Je­sus came to give us this and more. That’s why we need him and the mes­sage of Christ­mas so des­per­ately in our lives.

DR. GLEN MOLLETTE

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