Christmas is the most widely observed holiday in the world. Nine out of ten people in America will celebrate Christmas (Pew Research). However, if you were to ask people why they are celebrating Christmas, you’d get all kinds of answers.
“I’m just glad to be back together despite COVID.”
“We just celebrate life!”
“The lights are so beautiful!”
“I get a Christmas bonus.”
“It’s a time of giving.”
“I look forward to the gifts.”
Sadly, very few people have anything to say about the real purpose of Christmas – it’s to celebrate the birth of Christ. Someone said that Christmas is the only birthday party where the person whose birthday we’re supposed to be celebrating is completely ignored.
Here are three things you can do to get Christmas right this year.
Do you feel overwhelmed by the Season? Too often, the “happiest time of the year” becomes the “most hectic time of the year.” No wonder some people want to cancel Christmas. By the way, did you know that the Puritans banned Christmas? They were against it for two reasons. First, it had ties to the Catholic Church. After all, it is called “Christ-Mass.” Second, it was a time filled with excesses, including wild parties and gambling.
While I disagree with canceling Christmas, keeping it simple makes sense. We get Christmas right as we forgo the excesses! Declutter your Christmas. Be realistic about your expectations. Don’t be caught up with consumerism and make sure you leave ample space in your calendar.
What are you emphasizing this Christmas? Where are you expending your time, treasure, and energy? We get Christmas right as we put Christ back into it. Make faith the focus. This is a great time to generously give to others and your church.
Christmas is also an excellent bridge to talk about Christ! This past week I read that almost 1 in 5 Americans (17 %) say they couldn’t retell any of the Christmas Story. Another quarter (25 percent) could only give a quick overview (LifeWay research). Tell the story of Jesus! One of the simple things we do is give some cookies, a Christian book, along with a letter to our neighbors.
Who or what is the object of your worship? We worship what we love. We only get Christmas right as we get right with Him. Ultimately, Christmas is celebrated from the inside out – from our hearts. This familiar carol should be our prayer, “Oh come let us adore Him! Oh, come let us adore Him! Oh, come let us adore Him, Christ, the Lord!”
There is no Christmas without consecration. We all need to bow before Him in full surrender. He is the King of kings and Lord of everything! All praise and honor and glory belong to Him!
BEFORE YOU GO
Christmas means that God cares. He came down to us and provided a way back to Him. Even in the uncertainties of life, we can trust Him. Ask for His will to be done on earth as it is in heaven and always remember that His will is good, pleasing, and perfect (Matthew 6:10; Romans 12:2).
I wish you and your family the best Christmas ever as we put Him first in our lives!