Jesus is the reason for the season says the Salvation Army's Don Cook.
Jesus is the reason for the season says the Salvation Army's Don Cook. Bev Lacey

OPINION: Christ needs to be put back in Christmas

Written by Don Cook, chaplain Bundaberg Salvation Army Tom Quinn Community Centre, and Mayor's Appeal Committee member.

Christmas Day is fast approaching, and everyone is in a frenzy to get everything in order to celebrate.

The shops are trying desperately to outdo each other to try and attract customers to buy their gifts.

All are offering great savings, bigger and better goods in their bid to make this the best Christmas ever. 

Great work has been gone into decorating the shops, houses and streets to make the right atmosphere for the festive season.

Many householders have gone to great lengths to make a beautiful scene of lights.

Others have been picking the gifts that they would like to receive for Christmas. 

Great orders have been put in for exotic foods and drinks for their Christmas dinner.

It's not all about the shopping.
It's not all about the shopping. Renee Albrecht

And parties, new clothes have been purchased so they look their best as they party their way through Christmas. 

On the other hand, many people in our city and district who are experiencing the most difficult times in their lives.

Suffering from loss of possessions, and having to try and made ends meet the best way they can, living far below the poverty line, and not having budgeting skills to make their money stretch to get enough to exist on.

Many families in the region are struggling says Don Cook.
Many families in the region are struggling says Don Cook. Kevin Farmer

They have no way of getting Christmas presents, extra food to put on the Christmas table, or maybe get away to the beach or somewhere for an outing. 

As always we have been getting more people from other states trying to get work on farms around our area, but because of adverse weather conditions and many businesses having to fold up jobs are almost non existent.

A lot more people are experiencing hardship and are too proud to ask for assistance.

When there are children involved that makes our task more difficult, as no one wants to see anyone miss out on Christmas.

Cakes are nice but not the reason for the season.
Cakes are nice but not the reason for the season. John McCutcheon

We are getting wonderful assistance from businesses and very generous people of Bundaberg and Districts around us, but we still need more donations so we can help those who are really suffering.

Please support The Mayor's Christmas Appeal and put some joy into an otherwise bleak Christmas.

Donations can be made in the Bundaberg areas, to the Bundaberg Regional Council. 

Someone asked me why Christmas is not like it used to be.

My thoughts went back to my childhood days.

Don Cook says Christmas is about Christ, not Santa.
Don Cook says Christmas is about Christ, not Santa. Rachel Lang

I was brought up in a Christian home, and through the teaching I received from my parents and the Salvation Army Sunday School and youth meetings, I was taught the Christmas story from the Bible, how Jesus was born and the reason we should celebrate His birth.

How we act these days shows that most people have taken Christ out of Christmas all together, and this is why the world is in such a great mess, with wars raging between countries not being able to live with each other in harmony. 

Australia used to be known as a Christian nation, but not any more.

Unless we get to put Christ back into Christmas, and live by the standards that Christ taught, we will continue to travel on the road to despair and ruin.

If you haven't been going to church, please make an effort to go to your church this Christmas.

If you haven't a church that you normally go, come to The Salvation Army Worship Centre - 110 McCarthy Street ,Bundaberg, where you will be made most welcome.

The Christmas service starts at 9.30am this Christmas Day, Sunday, December 25.

A friend of mine wrote this poem, and it says it all:

THERE'S A REASON FOR THE SEASON

By Richard Mills

There's a reason for the season and it's not in Santa Claus.

Nor in gifts through Him delivered getting girls' and boys' applause.

It's a baby who is the reason, sent to earth long years ago.

Gift of love from God His Father, to a world that He loved so.

There's a reason for the season, and it's not in mistletoe.

Nor fir trees bedecked with baubles, setting children's eyes aglow.

It's why shepherds from the hillside, and wise men from afar.

Came as one in adoration to the babe led by a star.

There's a reason for the season, and it's not in turkey roast,

Nor plum pudding with white dressing.

Neither drinks raised to a toast.

It's in the angels in the Heavens, who did sing at that babe's birth.

Glory to God in the highest, with goodwill and peace on earth.