What Christmas Means To Me [A Group Project]
Feeling the urge to do something more collaborative for a Christmas post this year, I asked a few friends of mine for the help by sharing what Christmas means to them. Thank you each for your help on this, I appreciate each of you very much!
What Christmas Means To Me
By Aubrey, Destinie, Gina, Spencer & Yvonne
I've been thinking about this a lot: there are so many contemporary songs out there that pine away longing for the joys of Christmases past. From memories of lost love, to wondering why Christmas isn't the way it was when we were children, to longing for loved ones who have passed. I don't mean to be critical, because those feelings are very real. I could and do feel the same way for any number of reasons. Missing my mom. Missing my dad. Even missing friends that I enjoyed celebrating Christmas with last year.
However, I also rejoice over watching my children grow, seeing Wesley for the first time truly excited about Christmas, his understanding growing because he remembers last year. Remembering my beautiful baby girl last year, and now seeing her, a toddler, not understanding and yet enchanted by all the beauty of the glistening lights and the joyful church music which radiates the same spirit of joy which God has placed within her. It was last Christmas that God began to show me that "joy" was going to be the word He would give me for her.
But I have really been thinking about how God never changes. And how often we forget because we get focused on how things have changed, or how we are in the midst of change, or how big changes lie ahead. Even Christmas, that special time that comes around every December, changes with every year that goes by. This beckons to us, to bring the focus of Christmas back to God, not just to Jesus coming as a little baby but everything before and after that moment in time, because Jesus, being God, is eternal and immutable. The great mystery of Christmas is how all that holiness and glory and eternity came clothed in the helpless human form of a little baby.
Another thing about Christmas that is mysterious to me is how everyone, believer and non-believer, seeker, atheist, and skeptic alike, we all feel something special this time of year. People's hearts are open. Differences are, at least for a moment, overlooked or even reconciled. And yet Jesus wasn't even born on December 25th.
I'm striving with my kids to keep the focus on eternal things as much as possible. People probably think we're miserly because of how little money we spend on our kids at Christmas time. They probably also think we're party poopers because we don't want our kids to believe in Santa Claus. Maybe we are those things, but it also helps steer the focus away from the presents and back toward what is really important: the only part of Christmas that will never, ever change, and will even outlive the very need for Christmas itself. Jesus is called the Word because He communicates to us everything that God, the incomprehensible, Holy, Perfect Being that we cannot see, wants to show us about Himself. Jesus came as a baby to communicate that to us on a level that we could understand. He lived among us so we could see firsthand all that God is in a way we could comprehend. And so that He would feel and experience everything we do, yet without sin, making Him the perfect sacrifice to reconcile us to God, and also the perfect High Priest to stand before God and intercede for us, because He experienced firsthand the pain of being clothed in this frail human flesh.
We definitely decorate our house and have big family gatherings and enjoy some of the more secular trappings of Christmas. We play Christmas music, secular and Christian, from Thanksgiving to New Years. We LOVE this time of year as much as any other family. And I think that many of those things can and should be enjoyed in their rightful place. It just breaks my heart when those are the first and only reasons for celebrating this time of year. – Aubrey (Rochester, NY)
Christmas means family: lots and lots of family. I have over 20 first cousins, so whatever house we've chosen to gather in is always full. To me, Christmas has never really been about gifts and lights or physical things, but about coming together to fellowship with each other in memory of Christ and what he did, and still does for us. And of course, no Christmas is complete without coma-inducing, rich foods. – Destinie (Planet City, FL)
There is something very magical about Christmas. The hope of our Savior coming to dwell with us, the opportunity to bless others, the anticipation of a day filled with warmth & love. Many complain that it has become materialistic or that it has become a secular event. I don't feel that way though. I believe many still hold on to the true meaning of it. You see it as you pass people's houses and churches, and the nativity is on full display. You see it as you scroll down social media pages and people are celebrating Advent, stirring themselves up. You see it as people make the effort to volunteer at shelters or rush to an angel tree to pick out a child to bless.
Though the season begins with a Black Friday, the true spirit of Christmas is alive & well in the hearts of men. Let us not become discouraged or doubt motives, but remain focused on the lights in the world that are shining brighter in the dark. – Gina (Plano, TX)
What Christmas means to me is a time for miracles and a time to fall in love. Christmas brings people together and makes the impossible possible in some way shape or form. People say Santa isn't real but I believe he is real still to this day. The only difference from when you were a kid to now is that if you're good he'll bring you a miracle. – Spencer (Lawrenceville, GA)
It's another year gone by and the anniversary of our dear Saviors birth comes around again. Growing up in a large family (there were 8 of us kids), was always fun and innovative. Christmas was no exception. Today, I hold dear those many memories. Both secular and religious. I am so glad I went to Sunday School as a child. My parents did not attend church but they made sure us kids went every Sunday. But they always came to the Easter and Christmas programs our Sunday schools put on. The early foundation of my church years gave me the promise that Christ was born for a reason. I learned that early and know today that many people celebrate for different reasons. But not me. Jesus is the Reason for the Season!. The Christmas Carols in the hymnal, remembered forever on my mind will never fade. Today in the hustle and bustle of Christmas as the commercialization takes a front door. I read the gospel over and over. I sing the hymns over and over.( I can't sing on tune so I sing by myself.) and I keep adding to my nativity collection. I also keep some of the fun stuff, Santa Claus, Frosty, and Jingle Bells. This year, I am keeping Christmas simple. Easy on the gifts, lots of family, and comfort foods. Fellowship with friends and remembering good childhood memories. Midnight Church service on Christmas Eve. How can I forget? Candles lit each window in the church with a calming glow. Silent Night, Holy Night. Sung by the choir in perfect pitch. The Christmas tree all lit aglow under twinkling lights. Christmas to me is all these things. I have taught my children that Christmas is Jesus' birthday, a day to celebrate the wonderful gift from God to us. That we have a way to come to him for an eternal life and Jesus is the answer for the world. Merry Christmas! – Yvonne (Vancouver, WA)