Christmas has always been my favorite time of the year. I love the carols,the lights, the look of wonder ina child’s eye as they open their presents on Christmas morning. But this year, Christmas is a bit different for me.
This has been a tough year on my family. It has also been a good year. In May, we welcomedinto our lives our first grandchild, a beautiful little girl. She is a joy. At the same time, we lost a family member to cancer, after a long and hard fought battle. And that makes the holiday harder for us all.
I take comfort in the thought that he is spending Christmas with the reason we celebrate the season. That helps a lot. In a way, I am jealous, as he is probably getting to relive the birth of his Savior, while sitting at His feet. What a celebration that must be!
I have learned a few things through this process. Things, I actually knew, but, inthe hustle and bustle of everyday life, had pushed back into the back of my mind. I guess you might say I have been reminded of priorities, and what is really important in life, and at Christmas.
Presents are nice, andI love to give them and get them, but, that is not what Christmas is about, really. We celebrate by giving gifts to remember the Special gift that was given to us that night inBethlehem so many years ago. The most precious gift we could possibly have gotten. The birth of Christ, our Savior.
It hurts me to see what we have done here in this world about that gift. You see, we seem to have forgotten the importance of and shut out the feelings of love that came from Heaven on that night. I know that we all get busy with the holiday, and all that comes with it. But let us stop and think about the day Christ was born.
Was it a cold December morning? Probably not. Scholars tell us that Jesus was probably born in warmer weather. Were their presents? Sure, but not that night. Was there a big celebration of that birth? You bet there was! Angels sang to the shepherds and a star brighter than any candle was in the sky that night to proclaim that birth. And yet, our Savior was born in a lowly stable, because there was no room in the Inn.
You know, I think I have learned a lesson this year, with its events about waht is really important in life, at least to me. I have learned that your daily life is a testimony, and that we should all be striving to live the best life we can every day. We should look for ways to pass on that gift that was given to us at every opportunity. Because that is a much better gift than anything we could go and buy for anyone.
Am I saying tht we shouldn’t give gifts and celebrate Christmas? No, not at all. I am just saying that we need to stop and take time to remember why it is that we celebrate. I know in my own life that I get wrapped up in the season, as most of us do. But this year has taught me that that gift is one that I not only want to keep, but to give away as many times as I can.
I guess I have learned that Christmas is not just a day to open presents, and eat (too much) and watch tv. And it shouldn’t be just one day of the year. We should be looking to keep that spirit of Christmas in our hearts each and every day through the year. And celebrate the fact that God gave us His Son, who in turn gave His life for all of ours.
It has also taught me that the one thing on this earth that we can have and cherish is family. I think the events of this year have brought us closer together as a family than we have probably been in a long time. I know it has for me. Through the ups and downs of this year, I have learned patience, and also just how very blessed I really am.
My wish for you this Christmas is that you have the real joy of the season, and that your celebrations are the best ever. Don’t forget to tell those close to you that you love them, and spend time with them. May the REAL meaning of Christmas invade your heart, and soul, and may you pass that gift along to everyone around you, during this season and throughout the year.