When my Bible study teacher read this out loud to a group of 50 or so women last week, half of us were in tears, the other half asked to get this writing via email to share with everyone they knew. I know this writing has nothing to do with church technology, so forgive me. Let this refocus you and help you stop and enjoy the Christmas season, instead of stressing about it. If all the work doesn’t get done, if all the blog posts don’t get posted, just take a deep breath and remember, “Jesus is the Reason for the Season” (I’m singing the cheesy kids song the preschoolers perform for our church each year in my head right now). Here you go:

1 Corinthians 13–Christmas-Style

If I decorate my house perfectly with plaid bows,

strands of twinkling lights and shiny balls,

but do not show love to my family,

I’m just another decorator.

If I slave away in the kitchen, baking dozens of Christmas cookies,

preparing gourmet meals

and arranging a beautifully adorned table at mealtime,

but do not show love to my family,

I’m just another cook.

If I work at the soup kitchen, carol in the nursing home,

and give all that I have to charity,

but do not show love to my family,

it profits me nothing.

If I trim the spruce with shimmering angels

and crocheted snowflakes,

attend a myriad of holiday parties and sing in the choir’s cantata,

but do not honor Christ in my heart,

I have missed the point.

Love stops the cooking to hug the child.

Love sets aside the decorating to kiss the spouse.

Love is kind, even when others are harried and stressed

Love does not envy another’s home that has coordinated Christmas china

and table linens.

Love does not yell at the kids to get out of the way,

but is thankful they are there to be in the way.

Love does not give only to those who are able to give in return,

but rejoices in giving to those who cannot.

Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, and endures all things.

Love never fails.

Video games will break, pearl necklaces will be lost, and golf clubs will rust.

But giving the gift of love will endure.