Christmas: What Does It Mean To You?
As Christmas draws nearer and the weather gets colder, I contemplate on what the season means. To some people it means presents from Santa, reading "T'was the Night Before Christmas", singing "carols" like "Baby it's Cold Outside" "Winter Wonderland" "Jingle Bells" "Grandma Got Ran Over By A Raindeer" "Rocking Around The Christmas Tree" "Have A Holly Jolly Christmas" and many more. To others it means flying to Grandma and Grandpa's place for some homemade pumpkin pie, roasted turkey, stuffing, ham, and mashed potatoes. And then of course to almost everyone Christmas (or Xmas, or happy holidays, or whatever you call it) means that we get the latest iPod, or iPhone, or touchscreen laptop, or Kindle, or car, or maybe your latest boyfriend will finally pop the question and give you the huge diamond encrusted 24 karat white gold engagement ring that you had pinned on your Pinterest board.
But what is the heart of the season? Why do we give and receive gifts? So many people say that it's a season of love, just to show how much you love someone and let them know that they're not forgotten. In my opinion that is something that we should be doing every day. Don't get me wrong, I don't have a problem with giving and receiving gifts on Christmas. However I do have a problem with gift giving and receiving being the main focus of Christmas. What is the first thing that pops into your brain when you wake up on Christmas morning? If it's "Oh boy! I wonder what I got for Christmas!" Then you have the wrong mindset. Some people can't afford to buy Christmas presents. Did you know that some of the poorest people on earth get the most joy out of Christmas? It's because they are celebrating the true meaning of Christmas.
Most Christians understand that Christmas is the day on which we celebrate Christ's birthday, but that's pretty much as far as it goes on their minds. First of all December 25th is not the actual day on which Christ was born. I doubt if we would be able to pin down the actual day. That being said I think that if God wanted us to celebrate the birth of his son on his actual birthday he would have told us very plainly which day that was.
Now don't jump to the conclusion that I think it's wrong to celebrate the birth of Christ. Quite the contrary, I think that that is the most important holiday to celebrate because not only are we celebrating the birth of Christ, we are also celebrating the gift of eternal life. Jesus being born was so much more than our King having arrived, it was our King that would eventually become the spotless Lamb that was sacrificed for the sins of His chosen people.
So why do we give gifts? We should give gifts to represent what Jesus gave to us when He died on the cross in place of us. Why do we have a tree? Definitely not so that we can stand in a circle around it and sing "Oh Christmas Tree" but it should be because the evergreen tree represents the fact that God is unchanging. Why do we put up lights? To represent Jesus Christ, who is the light of the world.
What are you going to teach your children about Christmas? Now is the time to think about it. What do you want them to remember about Christmas? Building memories with your children is important, and what kind of memories is important as well. I hope that found this helpful and encouraging.
God bless you all!