I woke up at 4:30 this morning, Christmas Eve, and absolutely could.not.sleep. Not much of a morning person I just couldn’t figure out why. After lying there for nearly an hour I came downstairs and just had to smile because a few my favorite things about Christmas awaited like a world of white outside my window and Christmas lights left on ALL night long! Reminders to me Who this blessed season is all about. I then realized that one of my favorite things is simply that I believe it.
Today is not just Christmas Eve but my mom’s birthday. I am so thankful that God gave her to me to be my mom. From the time I was born she taught me what Christmas really means. That Christmas isn’t about a big, fat, jolly guy in a red suit…or merely getting together with family and friends to eat, drink and be merry…or about decorations, parties and hoopla and what we get out of it all. She taught me that Christmas is about God sending us His only Son, our Savior, that very first Christmas. She taught me that I need to not just believe that it happened…but believe in what it means for me. He came…for me! Jesus left the splendor of heaven to be born a helpless little baby and grew up to die on a cross…for me! My mom taught me the most important thing a mother can ever teach her child…that I need Jesus.
This legacy of faith I pray I pass along to my children, and their children, and their children’s children. I’m finding it’s not an easy road in a world where people are more and more offended by things like the simple phrase Merry Christmas and a family’s personal decision to exclude Santa from their celebration. With things like Merry X-Mas and retailers shoving materialism down our throats it seems to be getting harder and harder to focus on Jesus at Christmas because so much steals the attention away from Him. There just doesn’t seem to be room for Him in many people’s lives. Is it really any different today than the day He was born?
What is Christmas without Jesus exactly? I honestly don’t know what that’s like. Someone, please tell me! Is it just mistletoe and holly and big dinners, gifts under a Holiday tree and a day off on December 25? Get-togethers and hustle and bustle running here there and everywhere with stockings hung by the chimney with care? I just don’t get it! I guess I never really thought about it before but people live like this! They celebrate “Christmas” without Jesus!? How does that work exactly? I’m asking because…I just don’t know! It’s actually making me very, very sad this early Christmas Eve.
God brought so much clarity to my mind this morning. It’s so simple. All of these favorite things about Christmas…which I share with so many others…mean nothing, absolutely nothing without Jesus. The story of His birth is more than just words on a page…more than just a significant event in history…it’s a part of me because He came for me…for all of us…and no matter how many times I try, I can’t quite wrap my mind around it. This morning it brings tears to my eyes and takes my breath away. What I’ve been trying to pinpoint over the past 24 days is why Christmas is one of my favorite things and for so many reasons it seems to all come down to this…that I BELIEVE!
Jen, I remember Christmas without Jesus. It’s crazy and busy and unfocused. That’s what makes it SO much more special now. My oldest and I were talking yesterday about people who celebrate without understanding what Christmas is really about. She was shocked to hear that I was one of ‘them’ until I met Jesus in college.