"What He ordains for us each moment is what is most holy, best, and most divine for us." Jean-Pierre de Caussade

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Interesting Christmas Facts

I received a newsletter this week from SAPPS Physical Therapy with some interesting Christmas facts. Maybe you’ve seen them yourself. If not, here are a few.

Approximate amount of money made by photos with Santa in all U.S. malls: $2,255,750,000. (That’s a lot of crying babies!)

Percentage of Americans that finish off their Christmas shopping on Christmas Eve: 20%.

Percentage of pet owners who have their dog or cat pose and photographed with Santa: 27%. (So that's why Santa was hanging out at the local PetSmart this past weekend.)

The number of Barbie dolls sold every minute around the world: 180. (Another little insignificant fact: Barbie and I are the same age. Obviously, she has stayed out of the sun more than I.)

The amount of trash that is generated annually from the gift wrap and shopping bags: 4,000,000 tons. (That’s 8 BILLION pounds!)

And at the end of the list was this one – and the one that intrigued me the most: the percentage of Americans who re-gift: 28%.

I have to admit, I don’t make a habit of re-gifting -- though I realize that very often it might be a thrifty thing to do. But it has got me to thinking. There is one gift that I know I don’t appreciate enough, and, quite frankly, it's the only one that’s really worth re-gifting. It is the greatest gift of all, and His name is Jesus.

And so I’ve been thinking these last few days about different ways to re-gift the Christ child this season. Here are a few ways I’ve come up with. Participating in a local Angel Tree project. Supporting a foreign mission to dig a well. Dropping a few extra coins in the bucket at Wal-Mart. Buying flour to help feed the hungry. Being courteous to the associate behind the counter. Caroling – which has a lot more to do with the visitation than the actual singing. Being patient as I wait in long lines or heavy traffic. Not being offended by “Happy Holidays,” but rather extending a genuine and joyous reply.

The ways and opportunities are as endless as the One whom we celebrate this Christmas season. How will you re-gift the Gift this holiday season?

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