This is Christmas
I absolutely love this time of year – all the traditions, the gifts, the food; don’t get me started on the food. When I was younger, this seemed like the most magical time; probably because I was out of school for a lengthy period of time; but also because of what we did as a family. I loved decorating the house and turning it from its normal look into a winter wonderland. We would all go pick out a tree together and bring it home to decorate. Dad would get it set and start on the lights while mom would vacuum up all the pine needles that the tree inevitably left behind. Once dad was done with the lights, we would all get to join in on decorating the tree, finally adding the finishing touch with the angel on top. As it got closer and closer to Christmas, the presents under the tree would start piling up, and my siblings and I would try to sneak and guess what was inside them. We’d bake the yummiest treats and give some to neighbors and friends. But we always got to keep some for us. I would usually sneak more – don’t tell anyone!
Christmas Eve would roll around, and we would dress in our best for the church service. I loved all the songs and stories that were told on this night. The most special to me was when we would light all the candles and hold them while singing “Silent Night.” After this, our family would head back to my house where we would have Christmas Eve dinner and open gifts from grandparents and aunts and uncles. After opening all the gifts, my dad would read the Christmas story from Luke. Once everyone went home, all us kids would go to one room and sleep together for the night. We’d fall asleep to the sound of the vacuum that was cleaning up all the mess from the evening. In the morning we would wake up to all sorts of presents and be able to finally dig in. After the exchanging of gifts we would usually have a big breakfast and get ready to go to Christmas dinner at my grandparents.
This to me is Christmas; this to me is what this season is all about. Getting together with family and remembering that first Christmas, the birth of Jesus Christ. Many parents these days aren’t quite sure how to celebrate this time of year. Do they get a Christmas tree or not? Do they do gifts? So many good questions, but I think that there is a great answer for these. My Merry Christmas by Sally Lloyd-Jones is a great resource to help with this. It takes all the holiday traditions and shows how all of these can point to Christ and our Savior’s birth.