“You’ll shoot your eye out!” Ralphie’s mom yells.  Ralphie sighs as he has just revealed his biggest gift wish for Christmas – a Red Ryder BB Gun for Christmas, much to his mom’s trepidation.  A classic line from a movie “A Christmas Story” that has over the years become a Christmas staple on television.  A story that speaks to our inner child when Christmas is magical with the thought of Santa going all over the world dropping off toys to good girls and boys, and catalogs become an activity of circling our favorite toys anticipating their possible arrival.

It got me thinking of another Christmas story – what most would say the one true Christmas story and the reason for the season – the birth of Jesus.  We know that the date chosen, December 25, is probably not His true day of birth, and some may argue we are honoring Christ with pagan based traditions while some may not even believe or celebrate at all.  I choose to believe at the core of the story – just as a I did as a kid of a Santa busy making people happy and joyful – of a loving Father who knew His children were in desperate need of a Savior to bring joy to the world.

The difference between these two Christmas stories is Ralphie had to beg, convince and cajole his parents into getting him the BB gun while the story of Christ doesn’t require any of that.  It is free gift that even after you receive it and you do shoot yourself in the eye as poor Ralphie did in the movie with his beloved BB gun (don’t try that at home kids), we don’t have to hide or cover it up due to our shame.  It is a gift that we can’t lose either once we have received Him in our heart as our loving Savior no matter our mistakes.  Just as Ralphie’s parents did not take away his coveted Red Ryder BB Gun even after he did exactly what his mom predicted, God will never take back His gift that He freely and lovingly bestowed upon us.

As you and your families gather around the television this holiday season popcorn in laps wrapped in a warm blanket to watch this now iconic movie (or even the beloved Hallmark Christmas movies if that is more your preference), take time to reflect on the free gift of Christ and celebrate.  Celebrate that it was freely given!  Celebrate it can never be taken away!  Celebrate that this gift is at the core of who we are as beautiful GEMS – made to shine fire and brilliance, made with strength, made to overcome, made out of love to be love, and most importantly made to be free because of the gift of Christ – A True Christmas Story.

Be blessed, be free, shine on and keep on shining today, through the holiday season, and always beautiful GEMS!  You were made for it!

James 1:7 – Every good and perfect gift is from above.

From our GEMS family to yours,

Leslie McElhaney


#GEMSmadetoshine #merrychristmas #holidaylove #atruechristmasstory #hewillneverleaveyouorforsakeyou

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