The lights twinkle. The tree shines bright in the room calling out for us to see it’s beauty. For people across the globe the Christmas tree serves as a symbol for the season. It is full of decoration and color and light. But it is only a symbol, it is not the real reason for the season. It only stands to remind us that giving is the reason, and to remember the ultimate gift given for our sins. Whether the tree is big or small, short, fat, full or skimpy…it is a symbol of hope, peace, love and life. It reminds us that for one day the world will be full of childlike faith and wonder. 

I am in Florida this week, and tonight I got wet as I walked too close to a sprinkler. When I left home it was 40 degrees. The contrast in the weather is noticeable and a bit surreal. I know it is December here, and yet I am not used to walking outside with short sleeves and sweating this time of year. I see Christmas trees here just like at home, and yet they somehow look different in this tropical place. The symbolism is the same although the weather impacts it’s meaning for me. To me Christmas is a cold time of year. I grew up that way and a white Christmas was an every year occurrence. To live in a place where there is almost never snow is a mindset I have a hard time embracing. 

When I felt the water from that sprinkler, I was shocked and caught off guard. It sort of bolted me into a reality that I had not imagined. It made me think about the people across the globe who have never seen a Christmas tree, let alone heard about Christmas. In their world no such thing exists. And yet in my world this time of year is dominated by the holidays. Every person talks about them, plans for them, vacations around them, lives for them…and yet a large portion of this globe has no idea what we are experiencing. 

Today think about all the people who do not have the same things you have in your world…snow, Christmas, sprinklers. Whatever it is you are going to spend your day doing, others have never seen such a thing. Give thanks and appreciate your blessings as someone else would see them as beyond their imagination.