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Counter the Consuming Christmas Culture!

Have you started wracking your brain for Christmas present ideas yet? Do you enjoy giving at Christmas time or has it become a bit of a stressful, time-and-bank-balance-consuming duty? And has our consumer culture persuaded you that the only way to express your love is materially, by giving things?

Take a look at this quote: "The biggest lie of [our] age is that enough is never enough. Something is wrong with the idea that accumulation of material goods is essential for human self-realisation and happiness". Where do you think it comes from? A spiritual hand book? Last Sunday's sermon? It is actually taken from a recent report by the United Nations Environment Programme! Finally the experts of today are coming round to agree with what Jesus taught 2000 years ago, that we should wish for, according to Luke 12:33-34, "a treasure in heaven that will not be exhausted, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys. For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also."

Giving our time is so much more biblical. Looking after a friend's children, making a blackberry and apple crumble for a new mum, phoning to say "how are you" when you know someone is a little down, remembering them in your prayers, giving someone something that you made yourself. To me these are signs of a deep Christ-like love that can be so much more meaningful and memorable than most material giving. Of course there are times for giving things too. When you know someone really needs or will really appreciate something:

November Top Tip: Give a life-changing gift with World Vision! Order a gift catalogue from 0845 075 7574 or www.great-gifts.org. How it works is that you buy a gift for someone in the third world, e.g. some bees, an immunisation programme for a child, some flowering fruit trees, (you can spend between 10 and 34,000!) and you receive a card explaining your gift. You then give this card to a caring friend for Christmas, happy in the knowledge that your gift will never be forgotten.



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