One of my favorite Christmas songs claims the holidays are the most wonderful time of the year. For the most part, I agree. But that might not be true for everybody.

Have you ever noticed how otherwise sweet, caring, little old ladies turn into wild-eyed bounty hunters when they are in pursuit of “Tickle-Me Elmo” dolls? They fight with you over a parking spot, and then throw you an elbow as you wrestle with them for the last shopping cart at the mega mall. Christmas doesn’t always bring out the best in people, especially a woman on a shopping mission for Christmas.

Do you ever wonder if you will survive the holiday hustle and bustle? Sure, the shopping is crazy, and extended family gatherings can become extended family feuds, but as Christians, we can’t just sit back and let the world tell us what Christmas is all about. Christmas is one of our greatest opportunities to let our lights shine like the star over Bethlehem did on the night of our sweet Savior’s birth.

Joseph and Mary understood both the hassles and joys of Christmas. Despite traffic jams, long lines and no room at the inn, they were determined to share the greatest Christmas gift ever. The birth of Jesus brought Christmas to a lost and dying world. On that first Christmas night, He was small, tiny and vulnerable, but His appearance brought light to the ends of the Earth.

As you navigate the shopping centers and gift shops for the perfect present for that special somebody, keep an eye out for the one who needs a glimmer of hope, a warm smile of encouragement or a closer parking spot. Seize the opportunity be a bright and shining star in a world in search of a Savior.