For a child it is the excitement of looking at lights, decorating the tree, watching Christmas programs on TV, performing in school Christmas programs, and of course opening a plethora of presents.
For adults, some of it can be the same, because during this time of the year the child we once were tends to shine again as we see homes lit up, trees decorated, and the joy on our children’s faces. But, there is also the stress of shopping, buying the gifts our children want, working, parties either to plan or attend, baking cookies, cooking dinners, and making sure everything is just right for Christmas morning. Depending on what your family does, you could add to that list.
And then there is what Christmas should mean to all of us.
In the Dr. Seuss story of “The Grinch Who Stole Christmas,” Starring Jim Carrey, Lou Who may have said it best. “You can't hurt Christmas, Mr. Mayor, because it isn't about... the gifts or the contest or the fancy lights.” Although those things are nice, sometimes we place too much of the emphasis upon the tangible, and lose sight of the true meaning.
The reason we even have a Christmas break, holiday, celebration, or whatever else you want to title it, is the fact that, “God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.” (John 3:16) The King of kings came down from heaven to be with His people. To show them what the meaning of life is. What true love is. And what eternal life will look like. Christmas doesn't come wrapped in pretty paper topped with a bow. Christmas isn't in the lights on the houses or trees. Christmas is Jesus Christ, the Light of the World. The indescribable gift sent from God, the Father.
I think I say this every year, but it stands to be repeated. When you are finished reading this, stop and ponder what Christmas means to you, and what you would like it to mean to you. See if there is a difference. If there is, slow down, take a deep breathe, and think about why you are doing what you are doing. Is the celebration about you, or is it about the birth of the promised Savior, who has come to take away the sins of the world? He may have been born over 2000 years ago, but He is still just as relevant today.
In the end, even the Grinch figured it out...almost. "Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn't before! What if Christmas, he thought, doesn't come from a store. What if Christmas...perhaps...means a little bit more!"