We did something growing up at Christmas…a tradition that is most certainly one of my favorite things. Every year my Dad would read the Christmas story before any of us opened a single present. Not the story of Ralphie and the Red Ryder BB gun…which I never even saw until I was 18 years old-? I know…crazy, right? The family I was a nanny for in college owned it and introduced me to it. I’m not sure how that was possible being that it runs for 24 hours straight beginning on Christmas Eve. Anyway we read the REAL Christmas story. The idea being that Jesus…the best gift of all…comes first. It seemed like the most natural thing in the world. I thought everyone did it. I mean…it IS what Christmas is all about, right-? As I got older I learned not everyone did this.
When we got married bringing the traditions of 2 families together as one has not been easy. It’s always so hard to juggle it all. Christmas Eve especially in which both of our mom’s families have always had their family Christmas which is also my mom’s birthday. How do we not do something we’ve just always done-? It sometimes feels like a rat race as we try to make it to everything while keeping the right heart and remembering what Christmas is all about can slip away in the hustle and bustle. But every single Christmas morning for the past 10 years of our marriage we have read together the Christmas story. That is one tradition that has stayed strong. We even read it again with my parents and Nathan’s parents all in the same day.
Once we had children it was so exciting to see them want to hear about Jesus before they open their 3 gifts. When Emalynn and 3 and Maxwell was 1 my mom got them a little box set called What God Wants for Christmas. It’s a progressive book told from the point of view of all of the characters of the Christmas Story. Each day you open a gift and find out who the character is. The last present contains no character, but a mirror. What does God want for Christmas? You! The one he created! Which is why He sent His Son! It was the most amazing Christmas that year to see the Christmas story come alive and the reason for the season hit me in a whole new way.
We always seem to traditionally think about what we want for Christmas…or what the people on our list might want…but what about God? Have you ever thought that maybe He wants to celebrate His Son’s birth too? What could you give Him this year? Your heart? An area of your life you haven’t yet surrendered? Your Trust? Your thankfulness? Adoration? Take a minute to pray and ask Him…just as I am…God…what do you want for Christmas this year?