Distractions. That's what my friend Kathy calls all the trappings of Christmas. Fun, twinkling, time-consuming, often expensive distractions. Not that there is anything inherently wrong with all of the things we do at Christmas, UNLESS they distract us from the meaning and message of Christmas, which is...
For God SO LOVED the world that He gave His one and only Son.
You are so loved. God sent Jesus to earth because He so loves you. Mary was chosen because God so loves you. The King of all Kings gave up the glory of heaven because He so loves you. He humbled himself even to the deep humility of death on a cross because He so loves you.
Christmas is not a once-a-year pseudo-religious gorging on material things and succulent foods. Christmas is a daily acknowledgment that you are so loved. And I am so loved. And your angry neighbor is so loved. And your children are so loved. And every human creation that has ever breathed has been so loved. And this love has changed everything.
Enjoy the gifts! Enjoy the tree! Enjoy the songs! Enjoy the lights! And let everything you see and everything you do whisper to your heart every moment of this Christmas season...” I am so loved.”