Christmas is obviously a special time in our family, as it surely is in pretty much every Christian family. Celebrating the birth of our Savior is an opportunity to reflect on God’s grace toward us, but I worry that it is an opportunity that isn’t taken full advantage of. I know we have been guilty in the past of merely reading the Christmas story in Luke quickly, so we could get to our presents.
Our Christmas program touched on this a little. All of the noise around Christmas – the shopping, the food, seeing family, traveling, etc. – can and does tend to drown out the primary reason. We celebrate Christmas because Jesus came here to die for us. We give gifts, celebrate with family, and have parties to commemorate this fact. It is not something that should be thrown in as an aside. It is the main course of our celebration, and we shouldn’t negligently relegate it to side dish status.
We have a tradition in our home, carried on from the tradition in my home growing up. For us, we get up Christmas morning, and before we eat breakfast or open a single present, we read the Christmas story together. For now, we read it from Jakob’s Jesus Storybook Bible. We also take time between Thanksgiving and Christmas to give something up that we are thankful for, just as Christ gave up everything to come here. Sometimes that’s hard. Sometimes we slip a little. But the point is focusing on being grateful.
What can you do to amplify your gratefulness and your focus on Jesus coming here to die for you?