The Most Wonderful Time of the Year
“… to be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child. And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered. And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped Him in swaddling clothes, and laid Him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn. And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, “Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.” And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.” (Luke 2:5-14)
For me, this is the most wonderful time of the year. Indeed, for me (despite the media) the best time of the year is not back to school time. It is Christmas!!!!! This is the time of year that I get to put up as many lights on my house as I want. I can bake every day and no one questions my motives. Most of all, I can play Christmas music that points to the birth of Jesus without people looking at me funny…..YAY!!!!!
No, Christmas is not about Santa. However, like most children today, my son did believe for a time in those mythical beings that magically leave good stuff behind – the tooth fairy, the Easter bunny and yes, Christmas. But having said that, I should also point out that first and foremost, my son was taught about the real meaning behind Christmas (celebrating the birth of Jesus) and Easter (Jesus the Christ dying for our sins). Admittedly, I’m not sure what crazy person thought it was okay to tell kids about a fairy who leaves money behind for a tooth that was probably only brushed on dentist days:/ Still, when we celebrate Christmas we do include some worldly traditions as well. (Frosty The a Snowman, Rudolph, and The Grinch will always be fixtures in our household right along with National Lampoon and The Christmas Story). Annually, my son takes part in the Santa Clause parade BUT the difference is that we talk about what the birth of Jesus means to us personally. We understand why we are able to celebrate our God-given destiny because He was willing to die on the cross for us. We discuss why Christmas is what it is, and how it is never X-mas — ALWAYS Christmas – acknowledging Jesus as the reason for this season.
I can also say that in our home, we decorate. Not just with a tree and a line of lights across the front of our house either. My tree stands 9ft tall. (Yes, finding a place for the tree inside my house is always problematic). It sparkles like the stars in the sky. My house twinkles from the eves, the bushes and the trees. My home will never rival the beauty that God gives us in the sky every day of the year, but for six weeks (every year) I make sure everyone knows what I am celebrating. If my twinkling house and sparkling tree are even half as beautiful as the stars in the sky, then I am happy. My Christmas village sits with a church as the centrepiece. My crazy snowmen (which are everywhere) let people know (discreetly of course) that I love a white Christmas (but let’s get this right, I only really want snow from Dec 1st to 25th)
For some, Christmas is about the gifts. However, for me, it’s the time I can spend with family. For some, it’s the chase to get to the biggest box store gifts in town. For me, it’s all about finding the unique local crafts person to make me what I want for the special people in my life. For some, it’s all about the holidays and the days off work. For me, it’s all about the cuddles, the food made with love and seeing the joy on every child’s face.
Moreover, Christmas is about the candy canes, the music, and the time to reflect. It’s about a God who loved us so much that He would came into this world and die on a cross so that we could be forgiven. It’s about a young couple chosen by the Lord God Almighty to play a role in what would forever be the greatest story told — a manger, some donkeys, an inn that was full, three wise men, shepherds, a star, and an angel.
Most of all, this time of year is about LOVE, PEACE and HAPPINESS so the next time someone says Happy Holidays — reply with Merry Christmas — because ultimately the entire season is about Jesus Christ!!!