Recently the season of Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s started to invade my mind I had to wonder about value of the spirit of the holidays.

It seems that Thanksgiving has turned into a starting line for an Olympic sprint for the rest of the season.

The advertisers start to tease us with the great deals that are coming up, loudly proclaiming, "On your mark"!

The ads continues through Thanksgiving week adding, "get set"!

And at the very moment at our Thanksgiving dinner, when we put the final bite of pumpkin pie in our mouth, the starting gun fires.

If we were race horses I can just here the announcer, “And there off! Coming around the first turn is 'Special Deal'. Following behind by a neck is 'Holiday Rush'! And look who is pushing his way through the crowd, it's 'Spend Frenzy'! The crowd favorite, 'Holiday Cheer' is dead last.

This is what this special time of year has turned into. It has turned into a race to see who can get the best deals on all our needs...err um...desires.

I understand the whole gift giving idea behind Christmas but it has turned into a time of year when we can inadvertently show that we are a "giving" person. It's turned into a way to "buy" love, attention and acceptance and to do it at a great price.

This causes a couple of problems.

First of all, Santa Claus only has a limited amount of elves that can prepare all these gifts. With all the gifts we desire, we over work the poor little elves. Then Santa has to make several trips back to the North Pole to reload his sleigh. His sleigh wasn't designed to carry so much stuff.

The second problem is the story of Christmas, as followers of Christ believe it, has been getting buried deeper into the winter snow. We celebrate the birth of Jesus our Savior but missed the whole point of His purpose on earth. Why did Jesus come to earth? Was it to create a new holiday so we can spend our time and money at all the local markets?

No, of course not. He came to give of Himself and He said He was the Bread of Life. Throughout the stories of Jesus, He is giving of Himself. He came to set the example of how to live this life on earth. It's the giving of our renewed self that is the greatest gift we can give to anyone. In us is the seed to an answer of a problem this world has. Or of a problem that your employer has or an issue your neighbor has.

If we "find the call" for our lives and pursue it, we will find ourselves being able to give life to people and that is more than a trinket from a big box store can give.

This is what I am going to work on this Holiday Season and the ones to come. On Thanksgiving I will reflect on the good in my life and be thankful. Up to Christmas I will thoughtfully consider the call on my life and what areas of my thinking I need to renew so I can give my true self to the world. For New Year’s I will reset my resolutions so I can live a meaningful and impactful life in my home and community.

What about you? Are you running like a race horse through this Christmas time? Do you desire to slow down and live a more meaningful life? Do you want to nourish the seed that is an answer to someones problem?

If so, "Get on Your Mark!" Find that place you were made for. "Find the Call" for your life. Seek out God's plan for your life and pursue it with all diligence. For when you do, you will find yourself being able to follow Jesus’s example on how to live life to the full.