Bah humbug…unless you’re a believer

While contemplating whether I should put up our faux Christmas tree (yes, it’s Dec. 20 and we have no tree up), I wondered why I really wasn’t as excited about Christmas as I was when I was a child. And realized that it’s all about the presents.

Until I met Christ about five years ago, Christmas really was about presents and the obligation of Christmas Eve mass. In looking back at what Christmas truly meant to me, I realized that most children (myself and siblings included) are taught that Christmas means presents – most likely new toys – and what child doesn’t want presents? The joy of opening gifts to see what’s inside (I used to peek in my parent’s closet to see what they bought us and even carefully tore open wrapped packages to disclose their contents) and then playing with your new toys until you were tired of them.

As I got older, the novelty of new toys wore off and especially once I graduated from college and had my own money I could just buy what I wanted. Who really needs gifts anyways? The day after Christmas everything was the worst – disappointment always ensued. No more Christmas, no more time off work, no more good food (but the cold weather doesn’t disappear for some reason.)

To make a long post short…if all I’ve ever expected at Christmas since I was a child is presents and then eventually I no longer need those presents or even desire them, then what’s the point of Christmas? What is there to look forward to? Now that I have a son, who is almost a year old and really has no idea what presents are, I am somewhat excited about Christmas and the idea of dressing him up and buying ‘Baby’s First Christmas’ ornaments. But do I want him to grow up equating Christmas with presents only be disappointed with the holiday down the road because gifts can only be so fulfilling before you tire of them (just ask my brother how long he played Zelda.)

Christmas is a celebration of Christ’s birth but it’s more than that – it’s a celebration of His life, death and resurrection. He came here to deliver us from sin – not to bring us a ‘happily-ever-after’ ending. But deliverance from the dominion of darkness. Having joy because we are saved is the symptom of the incarnation. Jesus’ cry as a newborn would one day be a cry out to God to forgive those who killed Him (I still can’t comprehend this type of forgiveness). Christmas is not the tree, not the toys, not the tinsel and not jolly Saint Nick. Christmas is Christ and it should be a year-round celebration. Our daily lives should reveal that we know the Christ who came to earth to save us.

May we focus our energy on allowing Christ to live through us this Christmas and every day of the year. May we give to others who are less fortunate at Christmastime and throughout the year. May we devote time to reflecting upon God’s selfless sacrifice this Christmas and year-round.

Kim

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About KimP
A mom and journalist in Texas, I strive to live my life for Christ. For no words can describe the Christian life better than, "To live is Christ, to die is gain." Books I recommend: The Shaping of a Christian Family: Elisabeth Elliot Humility: Andrew Murray Biblical Womanhood in the Home: Edited by Nancy Leigh DeMoss, written by various authors

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