This was written by a friend of mine. I thought she did a great job and wanted to share it with you.
How much does Christmas cost? I was looking at the ads in the Sunday paper. I saw that some game systems are well over $200. And if you add in the necessary attachments it takes it well over $300. And then there are the games.....wow. And there are cars that ride up walls and on ceilings. And TV's that cost much more than my first car!!! I could go on and on, but I am sure you have seen the ads and know what I am talking about. There are IPods, DVD players, Blueray movies, HD TV's, DS's and if you have not heard of Hanna Montana or The Jonas Brothers or HSM !,2 or 3 you are out of the loop!!! ChaChing!!!
And of course there are Christmas parties. The food costs, the invitations cost, the paper goods with pretty Christmas themes on them are needed, and of course you will need a new shirt or tie or a dress for the occasion. And then you need new shoes and a purse to match. ChaChing!!!!!
And what about sending Christmas cards out? There is the cost of the cards. And maybe some pictures to put in the cards for long distance friends and relatives. And some pretty stickers to help seal the envelopes. THEN we need to add stamps. It is December 12th as I write this and we have not gotten any Christmas cards. Our list of who we send to gets smaller every year. But, we did finally mail ours out yesterday. ChaChing!!!
And we can't forget the decorations, even if you aren't having a party. There is the tree, real or artificial. Average cost for trees is $40 for a real one. But, they can be much more than that. And artificial ones? Some are hundreds and hundreds of dollars. And some new ornaments. I know I buy a new one for each family member every year. And after a few years the tree top has lost it's glow or has just fallen apart. Got to get a new one. The lights have burned out. It's easier to buy new ones rather than sit and try to figure out which one is making the rest of the lights not work. And getting them untangled would test anyone's patience!!! And wrapping paper and bows and tape and gift tags!!! ChaChing!!! Where does it end?
I do try to do some shopping right after Christmas so I can get 50% or more off things I think I need for next year. But, that still costs money. So, what is the cost of Christmas. If we think in terms of what I have mentioned it could be VERY costly. I googled what the cost of Christmas is and found that if someone were to buy the things mentioned in the "!2 days of Christmas" it would cost over $20,000. Geepers! And if you but all the repititions it would be over $86,000. And the average American plans to spend about $500 this year, just on gifts. ChaChing!!! ChaChing!!!
But then God the Father showed me the REAL cost of Christmas. It cost Jesus everything! He gave up heaven just to come to earth so He can say He identifies with us. He paid the price by suffering in ways most of us will NEVER understand. He was born into a family of limited means. He didn't get much of anything in the way of toys or bicycles. I think He mostly got to play in the carpentry shop where Joseph worked. Or at home with Mary. Then He grew up and was ridiculed, even by His own family. He was beaten beyond recognition of being human. Then He was humiliated by being put on a cross, beaten and naked, to die. I have read that the pain of dying on a cross is worse than any other way to die.
By agreeing to give up heaven, be born a baby, suffering and dying for us, Jesus paid the ultimate price for Christmas. He stretched out His arms and said "I love you this much" and then He died. He was put up on the cross that was made from a tree and it had no pretty ornaments on it. It wasn't lit up will flashing lights. There were no gifts with fancy wrapping on them under the cross. But, the gift it held is the ultimate gift. Jesus took care of the cost. We just need to accept the gift of eternal life with Him. No ChaChing!!! It was paid in blood.