Christmas is just a few days away; the push for gift gathering and wrapping, menus planned, how many for Christmas dinner, parties, cooking and cooking some more. This is a very busy season for all of us.
Sometimes in the midst of food bubbling on the stove with Christmas music playing in the background, a flash remembrance from past Christmases enters my mind. I remember the year I got a sled and skies; another Christmas I remember getting ice skates and new mittens and a hat.
One year I remember my sisters and I got “flying saucers.” A flying saucer was made out of aluminum, round and large enough to set in the middle and “fly” down the snowy hill behind our family home. The “flying” was so much fun until you had to walk back up the hill to “fly” again, hopefully faster the next time. We spent all day flying down the hill and walking back up to the top of the hill. We had so much fun together that year.
I always loved the smell of turkey cooking in the oven. As a family of five, and later six, we sat at the table with so much food we knew there would be plenty of leftovers for later. There were no fights amongst the siblings which was rare. Christmas parades were over and a football game was on the TV. My parents loved to watch football especially during the holidays. I have nice memories of Christmases past and present.
Over the past week, I have been thinking about Christmas a lot. Why do we celebrate a special day of gift giving and drowning ourselves in the wonderful fragrance of food? Why is that day special for families who spend the rest of the year fighting with one another? What is it about that day when we think of others? We buy toys for Angel Trees and Toys for Tots. We buy a little extra food to give to the food pantry. We slip a pair of new socks or mittens into a box for the homeless. Even people who do not go to church or read the Biblical Christmas story to their children get caught up in the season of giving and celebrating. Why do we do that?
There is only one reason! The spirit of Christ enters into the celebration unnoticed. Whether people accept it or not, whether people deny it or not, whether people think of it or not, Christ is the only reason for Christmas.
Scripture tell us the truth: ” … the time came for Mary to have her baby. She gave birth to her firstborn child, a son, wrapped Him snugly, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the guestroom … The angel said, ‘Look! I bring good news to you — wonderful, joyous news for all people. Your Savior is born today in David’s city. He is Christ the Lord'” (Luke 2: 6-7, 10-11 Common English Bible).
The only reason to celebrate the Christmas season is because our Lord was born, and He came to everyone. Not just those who believe but everyone. If Christ was not born, there would be no reason to celebrate. There would be no reason to give, to eat together, or to gather together with family and friends. No reason at all!
But Christ did come! As a small, human baby Christ came. Christ reminds us that through His life our lives are better. Whether we believe or not, this is the simple truth. As a small baby, Christ opened a way for us to have eternal life.
Go ahead and celebrate this wonderful day we call Christmas. Celebrate, have fun and laugh. Enjoy the gifts, the food, the football games, and family. But as you sit back and for just a moment watch the joy of those around you — you are experiencing a blessing from Christ. This is the reason for Christmas.
May this Christmas season bring great joy and love to you and your family, Linda and Carl.