If we never celebrate the reason for Christmas; we will never celebrate life. Celebrating Christmas truly fills my heart with wonder, joy, and a mischievous smile. As the Christmas tree gleams with marvelous lights causing a beautiful cascade to beautiful wrapped presents, I can’t contain myself.
Oh, the wonder…..
It’s a wonder that truly drives me with a mischievous smile to “discover” what’s inside.
Who is the worse child at Christmas? If you haven’t guessed it; it’s this girl! Honesty may be my best quality but self-control at Christmas isn’t possible. How bad is my self-control at Christmas? Well, my husband doesn’t wrap or store my present at our house or I will become Sherlock Holmes to discover the great mystery.
Now before you shake your head or desire to give me a piece of your mind about my lack of self-control, there is a valid reason. The holidays or birthday celebrations were very foreign to me growing up. It wasn’t a joy to celebrate or to look forward within my household with an alcoholic parent. Sadly, most occasions were forgotten, monies used for other reasons, or promised another day. Only the tree would be decorated, there was no presents under the tree, and Christmas dinner was usually at a restaurant since dad didn’t know how to make a turkey. So, the holidays always seemed pointless or very disappointing as a child. Also, extremely embarrassing when arriving back to school. All of the children would be so excited to share with their friends or those dreadful papers about your “favorite gift” at Christmas. It always made me wonder what made me so different or why was I forgotten?
Growing up without Christmas was a true reality in my childhood until I was thirteen. The Grinch wouldn’t have to worry about stealing my Christmas; there wasn’t one around. Only a simple tree lighted Christmas tree would shine within our house. A simple lighted tree would lift my heart with such joy. Yet, I will never forget my first Christmas with my mother; it was truly a celebration! Besides our reunion after nine years of separation, I was astonished of all of the festivities. As my mother was getting the Christmas turkey and ham ready, my step-father made breakfast while all of the children surrounded the tree with expectation. An expectation to see what was inside this beautiful wrapped presents! As my step-brothers quickly tore open their gifts, I sat questioning why anyone would want to give me a present. As the house was filled with laughter, joy, family, and aroma of wonderful food my life was changed. It was changed because life was celebrated and it was surrounded with the greatest gift of all-love.
Love is the greatest gift we can give; it’s written upon every gift with a personal label!
As an adult and a Christian, I understand Christmas isn’t about the lights, fancy dinners, or the wonderful gifts under the tree. Yet, it is still about the gifts-the greatest gift of all-Jesus Christ who came as a babe. As he quietly laid in the manger, the angels sang! The Shepherds came to discover “what was this gift?” Also, gifts were given to the Savior to celebrate His birth but the gifts were symbols of importance. So, if Heaven rejoiced, Shepherds came to search, and gifts brought to the Savior-why can’t we celebrate? I understand, it’s not easy to keep the spirit of Christmas inside with all of the decorations, preparation, and shopping. Yet, as Christian’s it should be the heart of our lives, it’s the greatest gift we received. It’s also the greatest gift we can give; the love of our Savior!
Building stronger marriages together,
The following are a few verses to further encourage you:
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, and always perseveres. Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. (1 Corinthians 13:4-8)
This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers. If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him? Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth. (1 John 3:16-18)
Jesus replied: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.” This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.” (Matthew 22: 37-39)