Merry Christmas!!! I know it’s still quite a while off, but you’ll have to just forgive me for getting excited. Besides, this might be the best time to bring this up because this is probably when most people are putting their holiday decorations up.
I have a friend from church. Let’s call her Treisa, just because I like that name, and I have to protect her identity. So, Treisa was telling me a story about putting up her Christmas decorations at home with her granddaughter—we’ll call her Gabriella. They’d gotten all of the lights and garland out. They put up candles and candy canes. They topped the tree with a star and hung ornaments from it. Afterwards, Gabriella plopped her little tired self down to admire her work. Treisa was slightly concerned though. She asked her granddaughter if she’d forgotten anything. Gabriella thought for a minute and said no. Treisa was a little disappointed and pointed out that she’d forgotten Jesus.
The whole holiday is meant to celebrate Jesus’ birthday. It is bad manners to forget the guest of honor.
The whole holiday is not about the decorations or Santa Claus. It’s about God giving His only Son to us so that we could be saved because we screwed up. We celebrate Christmas as a giant birthday we’re all happy for. “Dear Jesus, thank you for coming down here and living with us so you could save us.” I haven’t figured out how Silver Bells has anything to do with Jesus’ birthday. Giving is understandable. We give because He gave. We give to follow in His footsteps.
The gifts can be quite the challenge. A lot of people think that the more expensive the gift is, the more the giver cares about who he/she’s giving that gift to. But, what happens when you’re broke? Does it mean you love them any less if you give them a cheap thing?
I’ve got eight other people in my family; Christmas can be difficult financially. We don’t do the Secret Santa thing. We each get one gift for each person in the family. This helps strengthen family bonds. It doesn’t have to be a super expensive present. We all know that most of us can’t afford it, and we’re shocked when “Santa” manages to pull a Wii out of his sack. What we try to do is put more thought into the gifts. My younger sister made t-shirts for a few of us last year. She bought the t-shirt and a few markers and spent the next several days drawing designs on the t-shirts. Each one was crafted to suit a specific individual. She colored a picture of Mater on a t-shirt for my strange cookie dad.
It seemed that when you’re broke, the gifts mean more. They can be so much more special because instead of throwing money around, you have to participate. You utilize whatever talents you have, giving that person a piece of unique you, and show them you know and care about them by shaping the gift to match their personality.
So this Christmas, don’t get caught up in the wrong things. Remember to invite Jesus to His party, and try to make this Christmas a little more special for your loved ones by giving them more than a fancy gift that’ll sit on the shelf.
Picture found at:
Sara Goodman. "Jesus Asks Santa about His Birthday." Cartoon. Sara*ndipity. Web. 7 Dec. 2011.