Did you ever notice that the wrapping paper seems to always run out before the number of presents. I used to think that each year you had to out do the gift buying from the year before. Then I discovered one simple truth…Christmas should not be about how much is under the tree but about who is around the tree. Christmas comes from the heart not from a box or bag. Remember “The gift is to the giver…and comes back most to him (or her).” Walt Whitman
As children Christmas time meant went being on our best behavior because we did not want to be on Santa’s Naughty List. Having your name on the naughty list meant not getting any gifts from Santa. So the closer you got to Christmas the more you wanted to be on your best behavior. The key was however no matter what you ended up being forgiven on Christmas and there was always presents under the tree. Get the parallel. God sent His Son because we were separated from because of our sin. I guess you could say we were on God’s naughty list and there was no way being on our best behavior was going to get us off…well there is one way. If we put our faith and heart in God’s hands and what He did for us we would be able to get the most desirable gift of all…a way into Heaven.
While the current reflection we have of Santa Claus started as a marketing gimmick there actually was a Saint Nicholas or Santa Claus. According to WhyChristmas.Com St. Nicholas, who was a very rich man, “was a Bishop who lived in the fourth century in a place called Myra in Asia Minor (now called Turkey).” He was a kind soul who liked to help the poor and give out secret gifts to those who needed the most help. If you would like to read more about the true Saint Nicholas click here. While God is the true gift giver it is up to us to be like the true Saint Nicholas and give back to others not only this time of year but throughout the whole year.
The one thing I have never had the opportunity to do this time of year is sit by a warm cozy fire on Christmas Eve while somebody reads Twas the Night Before Christmas. I don’t why but the idea appeals to me very much. There is something about having friends around you, the glow of the fire that puts you in the Christmas mood. At this time of year we try to package the joy of the season in boxes with paper and ribbons. Perishable items which may or may not wear out before the end of the year. The enjoyment Christmas is found however in the little details, Those moments in time which create memories which don’t wear out. So one thing to do this year is to slow down and enjoy the season.
Growing up I don’t remember being that much concerned about having a white Christmas. In fact snow on Christmas only meant Santa would have an easier time gliding to a smooth landing. In my adult years snow on Christmas just meant a tougher commute to family and friends during the holidays. Still I hear stirrings of people wishing for snow because they want a white Christmas. Personally I don’t understand the appeal of the white stuff but if you’re a snow buff I hope you get your white Christmas.
Mistletoe, what is it and where did it come from? Each year we hang mistletoe so we can catch a kiss from some unsuspecting soul who happens to stand under the plant but does anyone know where the tradition comes from? Mistletoe is a parasitic plant which owes it’s life to the whichever trees it attaches itself. The tradition of stealing a kiss under the mistletoe dates back to old Nordic traditions. From there it gained it’s way to the United States from the 18th Century British servants who carried it across the ocean. Now loves blossoms under the mistletoe.
I think it as a Christian it is important for us to know where the traditions we have at Christmas time started. God us wants us to be in the world but not of the world so we have to be careful how and what we choose to use in our homes when we decorate.
One of my favorite aspects of this time of year are the Christmas carols. Not the one like Jingle Bells or Rudolph but carols like “O Holy Night.” “Joy to the World,” “Silent Night,” among many. These carols point us in the direction of the true why of Christmas and not the commercial why of Christmas. In that light this message is brief so you can up some carols and get in the mood for Christmas.