I love Christmas. It is one of my favorite times of the year, and definitely in my top three as far as holidays go. I love the songs, the hot apple cider and hot chocolate, the Santa hats, and most of all, the fun of gift giving. I have such a good time finding the perfect presents for my loved ones and keeping the secret until Christmas morning, when they finally get opened. And of course, I always enjoy wrapping them in misleading ways, like putting a tiny present in a huge box or putting the present in a box filled with heavy things so that the weight is totally off. Then the gift is even more surprising, and we can all get a few laughs out of it! Oh yes, I definitely think that giving gifts is one of my favorite parts of Christmas.
This actually makes sense, because as some people say, giving is the true meaning of Christmas. And in a way, they’re right. Christmas is a time to celebrate the greatest gift that humankind has ever received. It’s a time to celebrate that gift and give thanks for it, especially by giving to others. Christmas is a reminder that we should be doing more for the people in need around us, because when Jesus saw our needs, He came to Earth to serve us and save us. We are inspired to do the same! Or at least we should be.
For some people, of course, Christmas is not about Jesus at all. It may be about giving, or love, or being with friends and family. It may even be about getting presents. And it seems that many celebrate Christmas simply for the novelty; it has become an American cultural tradition, characterized by Santa Claus and his 9 magical reindeer, and families want to celebrate it because it is part of being American! But despite all of these differing reasons that people celebrate Christmas, the truth is still there. Christmas is a celebration of Christ. Well, at least that’s what it is supposed to be.
To be honest, I have a real problem with people who take Jesus’ holiday and turn it into something else. People who don’t even care about, know, or follow Jesus have taken the holiday and used it for their own purposes. It’s not that I think that non-Christians shouldn’t be allowed to celebrate Christmas; it’s just that I think it’s offensive that they don’t recognize it for its true purpose. It would be like if I, a non-Jewish person, celebrated Hanukkah by dressing up as Santa Claus for eight days and singing songs like “All I Want For Hanukkah Is You,” without ever addressing the reasons why Hanukkah is celebrated. These things are no more reflections of the true meaning of Christmas than they are reflections of the purpose of Hanukkah. And when Santa and catchy Christmas songs completely mask the true meaning of Christmas, that’s when it becomes a problem for me.
That all being said, Christmas is actually not a sacred time of the year. It is not the actual day of Jesus’ birth, first of all. It is just a day that was chosen to celebrate it. Second of all, it has become a very commercialized, American holiday. For many people, it is about family, love, giving, gifts, or other things completely unrelated to Jesus. And people have a right to celebrate whatever holidays they want in whatever ways they want, no matter if it annoys me or not. But that’s actually okay, because like I said, Christmas is not really anything that special in and of itself.
It doesn’t matter to me what day of the year is singled out to celebrate Jesus’ birth. I honestly don’t even need a special day to celebrate it! It’s something that those who follow Him celebrate every day of their lives, just by being who they are. By being the children of God, by living as new creations because of the work that Jesus did, all of His followers are celebrating the fact that He came to Earth to save us every day. So we don’t need a special day to celebrate that. But of course, it doesn’t hurt to have one!
For me, Christmas is one of my favorite holidays. It is a reminder to the world about what Jesus did, and I personal reminder to me as well. And it is with that knowledge that I celebrate it just as any other American might; with Santa Clause, catchy Christmas songs, time with family and friends, and gift-giving. There is nothing wrong with that, because I still know that the greatest part of Christmas is remembering and celebrating Jesus’ invasion of our planet so many years ago. I can keep that true meaning of Christmas in my heart and mind, and still enjoy the other stuff for what it is. Christmas is fun, and I wouldn’t want that to change!
This Christmas, I hope that you and your family and friends enjoy the holiday. I hope that you have fun giving and receiving gifts, drinking hot chocolate, listening to your favorite holiday songs, and doing whatever else you enjoy doing at this time of the year. Most of all, I hope that you reflect on or discover for yourself what Jesus did for you, because He loves you beyond understanding. Even if you don’t celebrate Christmas, I hope that you can open your heart and mind to Jesus this year. He is waiting for you with His arms wide open.
Happy birthday, my king.