How do you celebrate Christmas?

Merry Christmas to the world!!!! Tonight is night we celebrate the birth of our Savior and Lord, Jesus Christ. I hope that is true for your family also!

With all of the Christmas (or holiday) parties, the gift exchanging, and programs to attend, we can often lose sight of what this season is truly about. I know that it is hard for a Christian family to stay focused on what it’s about, so I can’t imagine what thoughts a non-Christian family might have towards this season.

It is so easy to get caught up in the business of buying, baking, giving, eating, and keeping up with everyone and everything that the true meaning of Christmas gets lost.

I often wonder what would happen if I just stopped supporting all of the “Christmas” traditions. I mean, did the shepherds or wise men really put dollar limits on the gifts they bought? Did they feel the pressure to give gifts to people in every circle they ran in? Or did they simply give the best of what they had to Giver of all gifts?

Do you think Mary, Joseph, and the baby Jesus looked at the gifts and said, “I don’t really like that. It’s not the right size, it’s not in style, and as a matter of fact I won’t use that brand.”

I’m not a Scrooge. I just don’t understand why we have to do all this “stuff” at Christmas. I get so stressed out trying to choose the “right” thing for people. “Things” they don’t need, want, nor probably ever use. What happened to gifts that are life sustaining? That made a difference between surviving in the world or not?

I often wish we could save our gift giving for throughout the year. That when I saw something that reminded me of someone, I could buy it and take it to them right then. Imagine this:

“I saw this today and it reminded me of you. Thank you for being in my life.”

Not a holiday, not a birthday, not a commercialized gift buying activity….a true expression of love just because. I can’t imagine even the “toughest” of souls not being touched by a statement like that out of the blue. Wouldn’t that make a greater difference in the lives of others, than giving all our “gifts” on an over commercialized day of the year?

What would happen if families celebrated Christmas with a prayer, Bible reading, a time of reflection for what the Lord had done that year, and ate a good meal (hey, I am Baptist)???? Then we do the dishes and hit the street to take food baskets or a warm meal to families we know that need it.

We buy socks, shoes, and warm clothes for kids who don’t have any. We offer up a prayer and invitation to church with each family we serve that day.

What would happen? What effect would that have on our world? On our family?

Would our kids begrudge the fact that all their friends got top-notch electronics while we gave away what little we had to give? Would our parent’s feelings be hurt that we thought more of strangers than them? Would we regret not celebrating Christmas the “traditional” way?

Unfortunately, I think those things are possible results. However, I have to ask myself, what about the lives that are changed because of our actions? What about the fact that our children will have hands-on, life-changing experience in missions? What about the fact that others see us living our faith, not just talking or praying about it? How would Jesus feel about us celebrating His birthday that way?

How does Jesus feel about how we celebrate His birth today????