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The rule of thumb in my household is that we don’t start getting ready for Christmas until after Thanksgiving. I like to take my holidays one at a time. I am not holding anything against those who have been ready for months, but you may have a problem. You may be addicted to Christmas which can result in Christmasitis. Well, if you are in doubt about this, I have come up with a test which can help you determine if you have contracted this disease. Give yourself a point for every question you answer yes to.
1. Do you have more than five giant inflatable lawn decorations?
2. Did you buy any of this year’s Christmas presents at the after Christmas sales last year?
3. Do you leave your Christmas lights up all year and try to pass them off as lights to celebrate other holidays?
4. Have you ever bought an artificial tree because real ones don’t last for three months?
5. Do you rent or own a shed or storage unit because you have more decorations than your house can hold?
On a more serious note, I want to ask you this question: Are you ready for Christmas? Normally when this question is asked we can point to a number of things to gauge our readiness. Do we have our tree out and decorated? Are all the decorations and lights hung? Is our shopping completed? Did we send out our Christmas cards? Do we have everything wrapped? As we go through the season, we can check off everything that gets done. However, this is not what I am referring to when I ask the question, “Are you ready for Christmas?” I am referring to the spiritual aspects of the season.
In all the gospels, we are given a picture of John the Baptist who comes before Jesus Christ and gives the people a message to get ready for the coming Messiah. Let’s take a look at this message in Matthew 3:1-10.
In those days John the Baptist came, preaching in the desert of Judea, and saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near.” This is he who was spoken of through the prophet Isaiah: “A voice of one calling in the desert, ‘Prepare the way of the Lord, and make straight paths for him.’” John’s clothes were made of camel’s hair, and he had a leather belt around his waist. His food was locusts and wild honey. People
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