By Layton Dutton Associate Pastor of Youth Calvary Baptist Church Evart The traffic which forces you to leave extra early for work. The syndrome of “I want…, I want…, I want…” The pushing and shoving to get the hottest gift for your child. The complaining when someone says “Happy Holidays” instead of “Merry Christmas” or vice versa. The lines for the school or church play you must to get your young one to memorize. The same songs being played constantly on the radio. The hustle and bustle. The parties that are enjoyable, but take up every weekend from now until New Years. The time spent wrapping gifts, hanging decorations and then taking them down and putting everything away when it’s all done. The hot kitchen that never has a chance to cool down. Being forced to spend time with your crazy aunt. These, and more, are complaints around this time of the year. We look around at all the signage and retail stores and think, “Christmas has taken a dive”. However, in all our misery, we fail to look at the other side of this time of year. We fail to be thankful, something that should resound even more loudly in our minds, especially at Thanksgiving. During this time of the year there are more people giving. Charities and ministries receive much more during the holiday season than any other. There are more people volunteering in shelters and soup kitchens. There is awareness for those in need and several hands reaching out to help them. How great to see soo many giving to others! Also, at this time of the year Christ is in front of our eyes more often. There are more ministries proclaiming the gospel through plays, cantatas and dinners. Kids and families aren’t just attending church, but are more involved in their local church. The Bible is being read by more people. Songs that speak of Christ’s first coming and His coming again are being sung every day. What an opportunity we have to proclaim Christ! As we come upon this holidays season recall the words of Paul, “Be joyful always, pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18) As a friend of mine says, “We have much to be thankful for.” So let us be especially thankful during this time.