Recently, I read the title of a fellow Toastmaster’s speech, The Christmas Creep, and I wondered who this creep was. Scrooge? The Grinch? Weird Uncle Harry? I listened carefully to his speech. The speaker was referring to the materialism of Christmas buying creeping up on the calendar. Black Friday, the infamous shopping day following Thanksgiving, began the creep earlier and earlier opening hours. Anxious shoppers would wait in line for the 6AM opening of the doors…then 5Am…4AM…until sales began at midnight.

Finally, commercial competitions jumped the line and began to invade Thanksgiving Day. Vying for higher sells, stores of all kinds began to pull the avid savings hunter away from family to begin their shopping expedition on the day traditionally set aside for remembering what they have to be thankful for. The Christmas shopping creep has reduced the time for gratitude to half a day and given the rest over to creed.

I’m not saying you shouldn’t shop on Thanksgiving Day but ask yourself a few questions first. Does it take away from something more important? Are elderly parents left home alone after they had waited to see their loved ones together? Do sales ads pull your attention from the needs of those who have no place to go on Thanksgiving? Does the mad mall chaos of commercialism crowd out quiet time of just being with someone who needs a friend?

After all the leftovers are put away, instead of rushing off to elbow strangers fighting over the “perfect” gift, try visiting with family or friends, look through old photo albums or listen to stories from times long past. Time is more meaningful than the pair of gloves you purchased on sale.

The Christmas creep can draw you away from family the way sin can slowly come between you and God. Most people don’t like the word “sin” but it is simply anything that takes your attention away from your Creator. It can creep in slowly. Before you realize it you aren’t praying everyday or going to church on Sunday, let alone making time for the mid-week Bible study. Make time in your life for relationships, God and people, you will save memories to always cherish.

How will you keep old issues from creeping in to your relationship with God this coming year?

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