Q. Are you looking forward to Christmas this year?
A. Absolutely. Aren’t you?
Q. Do you have a list of stuff you want?
A. I get like a little kid. I got my list off to Santa just the other day. A little advice – mail it early. I hear it’s first come first serve this year what with the recession and all. Now that I think about it I should have asked for some investment advice. My portfolio is a mess.
Q. So Jesus, can you tell us what’s on your list this year?
A. Only one thing: TURN CHRISTMAS UPSIDE DOWN.
Q. I don’t get it. Say more…
A. We all want Christmas to be a lot of things… full of joy, memories, and happiness. But above all – I want it to be about ME. Do you really need the stress, more debt or that feeling of I think I’m missing something? I don’t.
Q. But how do we turn Christmas upside down?
A. It just means doing things a little differently and getting creative.
Q. How do we start?
A. Start by rethinking how you worship. Christmas is about the moment where God’s promise was fulfilled and love took the form of a tiny little baby – that would be ME in case you forgot. My birthday deserves your full attention and praise. Everyone seems to have forgotten this is about ME. I deserve a celebration that is loud, creative, and focused on only one thing ME, ME and ME.
Q. How can I focus only on you when expectations on me are so high and my stress level is out of control?
A. For starters SPEND LESS. Do you even remember what you got for Christmas last year? Probably not and that’s because most of the stuff you probably didn’t need or want. Spending less doesn’t mean not spending money on gifts. It means spending it on gifts others will remember in a year. Did you know that Americans alone spend $450 billion dollars on gifts during the holidays and most of it on credit cards? So spend wisely, use coupons whenever possible and free yourself from the anxiety of debt and allow yourself to enjoy the season with a full heart.
Q. That’s good advice, but there must be more to it.
A. Very truly I tell you…GIVE MORE.
Q. But you just told us to spend less. I’m confused.
A. Of course you are. Otherwise we wouldn’t be having this conversation. Look this isn’t rocket science and you already know the answer. Let’s review: What’s the most memorable gift you can give someone? “Yourself.” I did it and you can too. Spend time with the people you love. Take someone to the movies, lunch, a coffee, a car ride in the country. At the end of the day, it’s about quality not quantity.
Q. Jesus, let’s review your list. You want us to turn Christmas upside down by rethinking our worship, spending less and giving more.
A. Good, you’ve been paying attention for a change.
OOPS…… I almost forgot
Q. What’s that, Jesus?
A. LOVE. It always comes down to love. A little less spending frees up your resources to love as I do by giving to those who really need help. Wouldn’t it be cool to “really” change a life or two?” Take it from me it’s the best part of my job.
Q. Any last thoughts, Jesus.
A. Noop.. gotta run and help Mom get ready for Hanukkah. Even Jesus has chores. “Stay in touch ya hear.”