If I decorate my home beautifully with pretty bows, twinkling lights and shining balls, but do not show love, I am just a decorator.
If I slave away in the kitchen, baking dozens of Christmas specials, preparing gourmet meals and arranging a beautiful table, but do not show love, I am just another cook.
If I go out on the soup run, sing carols in the nursing home and give generously to charity, but do not show love, it profits me nothing.
If I decorate the tree with shimmering angels and crystal snowflakes, attend lots of parties and give many presents, but do not focus on Jesus, I have missed the point.
Love stops cooking to hug a child.
Love sets aside the decorating to kiss the wife or husband or whoever is closest.
Love is kind not harried and tired.
Love does not envy another’s home which has co-ordinated Christmas china and table linen.
Love does not yell at the children or old folk to get out of the way, but is thankful that 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, hopes all things, endures all things…love never fails.
Computer games will break, bracelets and earrings will get lost, golf clubs will rust; but the giving of love will outlast all these.
Adapted from 1 Corinthians 13 v 1-8