The Christmas rush

Well the rush is on again to fill all those red stockings hanging above the glow of the fireplace on the oak mantle and to pile up the lavishly wrapped boxes underneath the silver shining evergreen limbs of the Christmas tree.

I just don’t know how we make it through this process each and every year. Especially as we realize that there are so many gifts yet to buy at the end of our money.

Friends, let me encourage you this year to consider an approach that my late parents shared with me as I watched them struggle through the tough times when it looked like there wasn’t enough to provide store bought gifts – they made them…

Amazing isn’t it, people actually caringly making gifts through a small investment in raw materials. I can remember one year my mother purchased an endless amount of filling for stuffed animals. The rest came from scrap materials left from sewing dresses for friends and family.

She worked hour after hour following work cutting a variety of animals out of those scrap materials, sewing faces onto the animals and stuffing them for the children in the extended family and many in our community.

Then came baking cakes, cookies and pies, once again with fillings she had canned or froze and some store bought flour, eggs and butter.

You know I never saw one of those gift recipients complain that their gift didn’t come in a fancy store bought box.

In fact, I know of at least one of those stuffed animals still caringly stored away: a yellow teddy bear with its face sewn in navy blue thread. I hope someday to give it to my child should the Lord bless me with one in future.

Either way, with times as tough as they are, I encourage you to see how you might use the talents God has shared with you to create a lasting blessing for someone you love.

If you are going to run out and buy something for those early elementary youngsters in your life, I do have a suggestion and you only have to run as far as your computer or your telephone.

Earlier this year, I visited with an old friend producer Bill Traylor at the National Quartet Convention. He is now part of Mansion Entertainment in Branson, Mo. He and his partners gathered together to create a wonderful musical gift for children – the Timmy for Kids. It’s a MP3 audio player for kids three and up.

The MP3 player is preloaded with 100 original Sunday school and action songs that children love to sing along with and room for them to download hundreds more.

Also included are downloadable lyrics for all the songs and the downloadable Timmy and Tara coloring book, high quality ears buds and a USB cable for $49.95 plus shipping and handling.

You can find out more about ordering by visiting or calling (866) 996-9986.

I am sure if you haven’t got the time to make something the youth will love, this will be a gift that keeps on giving to them and maybe to you to as your hear them singing along.

Remember as you shop, this is the season of goodwill, peace on earth, and remembering the reason for the season is the baby Jesus born in Bethlehem who came to save us all. May He be the light of your Christmas.