This holiday season started out odd for me… with the berserk weather we've had in the mid-west, we never really had a fall, much less decorated for one.
Didn't put up any of our blanched corn husks, nor put out the pumpkins that we grew or were given… I didn't begin fall with the energized stride it normally inspires in me.
And now Christmas is almost upon us, and there is no home adorned with beautiful seasonal cheer… just a hasty meager tree that I felt forced to put up so the kids would have something. A trivial little tree that I let the kids decorate from top to bottom. That Audrey has pulled over on herself twice. (It weighs next to nothing)
Yeah, that should be fun to untangle.
It just doesn't feel like Christmas.
It seems like its just me.
I think one of the reasons I have grown to love this season is the excitement that is in the air. You can just feel the energy.
Everywhere I look people are bustling around, preparing and anticipating.
Anticipating entertaining and giving gifts and receiving gifts and eating wonderful meals and sitting in front of a tree sipping cocoa or egg nog or a nice Pinot Grigio.
I have yet to feel that. We decided not to do any gifts this year… not even for our kids. And although I know that is not what Christmas is about, I realized how caught up I am in that aspect of it.
I have been trying to teach my kids about the true meaning of Christmas since they were born, but I have to admit, part of me really looked forward to lavishing others with the perfect gift! And of course, its always fun to get presents!
The truth is, I have forgotten Christ in Christmas.
The first line alone inspires hope in me.
C, the first letter in Christmas,
stands for the person who alone gives any day eternal significance:
Christ our Lord. It is easy to shove Christ aside on this holiday, but
we should celebrate the birth of Jesus, whose very name means “the Lord
is salvation” and whose title, “Christ,” points to His role as the
Redeemer of humankind. If Jesus is not Christ in your life, celebrating
the birth of an obscure Jewish carpenter’s son is meaningless to you.
H stands for history. The birth, life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ are not myths or fantasy, but are historical realities.
R stands for rejoice, an appropriate response in recognition of what Christ has done.
I stands for the Incarnation, describing that glorious event in which God became man.
S stands for St. Nicholas,
the fourth century bishop of Myra, a Christian whose story —
embellished by years of telling — nevertheless exemplifies Christian
faithfulness and charity. Christmas should remind us of the
faithfulness of God, without which we have no hope of redemption
through His greatest gift, His Son (John 3:16).
T stands for tradition, the stories and customs associated with Christmas.
M stands for the magi,
or wise men, directed by God to find and worship Christ. We shouldn’t
forget that no one is wealthy enough, powerful enough, or far enough
away that he or she should not bow before Jesus Christ, the King of
kings and Lord of lords (1 Tim. 6:15).
A stands for advent,
a word referring to Christ's coming. Christ came once in Bethlehem — as
an infant who grew to manhood, died for our sins, and rose again the
third day. Christians eagerly look forward to His Second Coming — “the
blessed hope” (Titus 2:13).
S stands for salvation,
made possible by the coming of Christ. The gospel story is so simple we
often forget it, but so profound it affects every individual. We are
all sinners, separated from God, with absolutely no way to reach God
except He reached down to us through His Son. With the coming of
Christmas comes recognition that because He came, He died, and because
He died and lives again, we also may live (Rom. 6:8; 8:11).
is not primarily a celebration of human life, although each human life
is valuable; not primarily a celebration of peace and love, although
peace and love are noble. The center and circumference of Christmas
should be the celebration of the birth of our Lord: “I bring you good
news of great joy that will be for all people. Today in the town of
David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord” (Luke 2:10-11).
This meant a lot to me… I hope it will resonate with you as well.