It’s December 6th and for most of us our Christmas preparations are in full swing.
Our calendars are full and our to-do lists are long. And we’re starting to wonder…
How am I going to get everything done in less than three weeks?
THREE WEEKS! Are you kidding?
But before full-on panic sets in and I start to hyperventilate, I want to pause for a moment and ask an important question…
Why do I celebrate Christmas?
Be honest. What was your first thought?
Just for fun, I did a quick Google search to find out what others had to say about it. And I found:
Why do we celebrate Christmas on December 25th?
What is the history of Christmas?
Should Christians Celebrate Christmas?
Is it wrong to celebrate Christmas?
I found a lot of facts, details, and history but that wasn’t what I was looking for.
I’m not curious about why December 25th was chosen or whether someone else thinks celebrating the holiday is appropriate, I want to know “why” or to be more specific … I want to know the emotional reasons people celebrate Christmas.
Because I’m a Sanguine and I want to know the emotional reason behind everything!
Picture me smiling here – but seriously, I really want to know why? Why do we invest so much in the Christmas season? Why do we shop, bake, decorate, and celebrate?
Why do we celebrate Christmas the way we do? Is it…
- to impress our friends?
- to make memories for our children and grandchildren?
- to keep up with the neighbors?
- because we love it?
- because it’s a tradition?
- because it’s expected?
- because everyone else is celebrating?
In all the years I’ve celebrated Christmas I don’t believe I’ve ever asked myself . . . my why for Christmas?
I know it’s the celebration of Jesus’ birth. But I’m stopping today to wonder if the way I celebrate … really celebrates and worships Him?
I wonder—do I celebrate Christmas this way for Him or for me?
Because in all honesty, I don’t think Jesus cares if my tree is decorated perfectly; if I attend every party or even if I host a party. I don’t think He cares if my family has the perfect outfits to wear. I don’t think He cares if I give the perfect gifts.
I even asked myself if…
I want to give the perfect presents because I want to be appreciated … more than because I love the people for whom I’m buying gifts?
I don’t know about you but I’m squirming a little. These are tough questions, aren’t they?
If I’m going to invest an entire month out of every year in something, I want to look way past the surface and know why. I want to know MY WHY. And that isn’t easy, especially when we’re so scheduled and overwhelmed that slowing down for even a minute of reflection seems unthinkable.
But that’s what I’m going to do. I’m going to stop for a moment and figure out MY WHY for Christmas.
I want the way I celebrate Christmas to have value. I want quality over quantity.
I Want to Know MY WHY for Christmas
My goal this year, and every year going forward is to celebrate Christmas in ways that really celebrate Jesus.
When I remember that Jesus was born to a teenage mother in a far less than a beautifully decorated setting, I don’t believe all the trappings we include are important to Him.
So what is..?
For when we place our faith in Christ Jesus… What is important is faith expressing itself in love.Galatians 5:6
Everything! Yes, everything …. even and maybe especially Christmas is about living my faith as an expression of God’s love.
Everything else, all that you and I do beyond that … it’s all just stuff.
Jesus gave up the glory of heaven because of His overwhelming love for sinful and broken people.
So the Word became human and made His home among us. He was full of unfailing love and faithfulness. And we have seen His glory, the glory of the Father’s one and only Son.John 1:14
I don’t know about you, but that thought overwhelms me. I don’t like to spend an afternoon doing something difficult or unpleasant.
Jesus entered the restrictions of time and space, brokenness and filth, illness and pain all because of love!
Love for the broken and imperfect, for the lost and wandering, for the hopeless and helpless … for people like you and like me.
Love was and is Jesus’ why for Christmas!
I love this quote…
“So God throws open the door of this world—and enters as a baby. As the most vulnerable imaginable. Because He wants unimaginable intimacy with you. What religion ever had a god that wanted such intimacy with us that He came with such vulnerability to us? What God ever came so tender we could touch Him? So fragile that we could break Him? So vulnerable that His bare, beating heart could be hurt? Only the One who loves you to death.”Ann Voskamp
And He invites you and me to trust His love as if our very lives depend on it … because they do. Not just our eternal lives but our every day “walking around interacting with other people” lives, even during the month of December.
So, I’m pausing and I’m grabbing my calendar and my to-do list and doing a bit of prayerful soul-searching. I want to give myself grace to not attend every event and do every traditional task. I’m giving myself permission not to plan the perfect menu or have my home impeccably decorated.
And I’m writing in time to spend as many quiet moments as possible sitting at Jesus’ feet … being still and knowing His love. I’m also slowing down enough to notice the people around me wherever I am and to make the intentional effort to show everyone God’s love and kindness.
And yes, I’ll probably do many of the things that have become family traditions but my prayer is that I’ll know why I’m doing them.
That I’ll know MY WHY for Christmas is to show the people around me how much they are loved by Jesus and by me.
I want to focus on…
Thank[ing] God for this gift too wonderful for words!2 Corinthians 9:15
Because as Frank McKibben said…
“This is Christmas: not the tinsel, not the giving and receiving, not even the carols, but the humble heart that receives anew the wondrous gift, the Christ.”
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