Unable to decide, Nathan entered Debenhams and in the cosmetics section he asked the girl, 'How about some perfume?' She showed him a bottle costing $150.
'Too expensive,' muttered Nathan.
The young lady returned with a smaller bottle for $100. 'Oh dear,' Nathan groused, 'still far too much.'
Growing rather annoyed at Nathan's meanness, the sales girl brought out a tiny $20 bottle and offered it to him. Nathan became really agitated, 'What I mean', he whined, 'is I'd like to see something really cheap.'
So the sales girl handed him a mirror!*
This story hit home with me in a particular way a few weeks ago. I had been looking everywhere online for my wife’s present. When no major supplier seemed to have one, I went to the web site of the manufacturer and discovered that it was only available at a certain retailer.
So I drove to the specified store. Once inside, I did indeed find what I was looking for. At the checkout, however, I had a disconcerting experience. To begin with, I was the only man in the store, let alone the checkout. Second, every woman in line was checking out and using the same 20% off card from a mail out.
When I stepped up to the counter, I had already done the math! 20% off was more than $50! When I inquired as to how I could get a card, I was told that I had to be a “member” of something! But, as a non- member, I could join today by… Well, in short order, I had checked out… not of the store, but of the conversation, I mean. I certainly wasn’t going to through any such rigmarole just to save a few dollars. That would have been way too much trouble.
As if to make matters worse, the more thought about it, I suddenly realized that I had seen one of those circulars before. The truth is: one had come to our house in the mail just a few days earlier. I now remembered that, too busy at the time to fully appreciate it, and thinking I would never need something like that, I had simply thrown it away. All too late, I realized that the very thing I needed for my discount had already been offered; but I had arrogantly discarded it!
Still, I audibly bemoaned my circumstance. Let’s face it: $50 is $50 any way you slice it! About this time, a lady in the adjacent line must have heard enough. She leaned over and said, “Here, take mine. I have an extra one!” - handing me a 20% off card from her own account as she did. I made a puppy dog face at the cashier, as if to say, “Can I use this?” And she agreed that I could. Needless to say, I profusely thanked the lady next to me! I had my discount and she was the only reason for it!
As I left the store, I was ecstatic. I rewarded myself on my big savings by a trip to the local KFC for lunch. After all, I now had a whole $50 to spend!
Seriously, I knew in my heart that I had only gotten the discount that I did because of the generosity of another person! You see: without her pity, I would have paid the full price!
And that, my friend, is the essence of Christmas! Only by God’s grace have we been given the gift of eternal life. Without His intervention, we would have paid the full price for our sin against God! And that price is a terrible one to pay; for it is the price of eternal death.
As the Apostle Paul says in the New Testament Book of Romans (6:23): “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” By God’s grace alone, we have been given what we need to have eternal life!
And that gift, more than any possible other gift, is worth celebrating! Be sure, therefore, that you have not flippantly discarded God’s greatest gift. Be sure you have embraced His Son, Jesus Christ. And then you will surely have a Merry Christmas!
*SOURCE: This and several other funny Christmas stories can be found online at: http://www.guy-sports.com/jokes/christmas_jokes.htm.