This year, as I was pulling out the Christmas lights and decorations for the house, I realized just how much
stuff I have. I don't overdo it compared to some folks. I get a lot of mileage out of 9 strings of lights and a homemade nativity
scene for the front yard, but it seems Christmas has deteriorated into something even more materialistic than even. When I was
a kid, we were satisfied with much less. When I look at my layout, I often can't believe what is before my own eyes. If I had to
do it all over again, I would make a much smaller layout. And there are so many decorations and layout items to choose from
these days compared to what was offered 20-30 years ago. I see a lot of snobbery regarding the use of colored lights
and the airblown items for the yard, similar to the snobbery within the model train hobby regarding the whimsical and toy trains. I love those
large airblown decorations but keep to a religious theme in the front yard. Without really thinking about it, we have been
conditioned to do more and more, and buy more and more. And many good people have lost sight of Christ in this busy
season. I don't try to top my friends, family, and neighbors with my decorations and layout, however I have allowed myself
to be driven by current trends without realizing it.
So, what's my point? Do what you like, follow your heart especially when building family traditions, but don't become
caught up in all the materialism and commercialism where bigger is better. And if you are blessed with a good financial situation,
please remember those who are in need with a contribution to the Salvation Army! Merry Christmas!!! Joe.