This morning I posted a response on another bloggers site about Christmas. (You can check out his site by clicking here.) His question was, “Is it just me or does it feel like Christmas has been captured? Are we forgetting or ignoring its real meaning?”
What do you think? Personally I love this time of the year! From all of the festive decorations, special Christmas scented candles, the Christmas music, to my my personal favorite: Starbuck’s Mocha Mint Latte. Okay so what if you can buy the Mocha Mint Latte all year long at Starbucks. I only buy it at Christmas time.
So how do we allow our fun family Christmas traditions to not distract from the real reason for the season? Here’s my response that I posted this morning:
From the moment that Jesus’ birth was announced, Christmas was about anticipation and expectation. There was a wonder about His coming. The angel announced to Jesus’ earthly father, Joseph, that “He will save His people from their sins.” This was definately a special child. Fast-forward two-thousand years and we still have the same anticipation and expcedtation surrounding Christmas, only this time with gifts that will never last.
When asking my three-year-old what Christmas is about, she responded in her lisp like toddler language that “Sanat Claus is coming”. This was my teaching moment…to correct the ‘captured’ version of Christmas that she had already been programed to expect. I shared with her that Santa is great because he brings us presents. But the bigger reason that we celebrate Christmas is because it’s Jesus’ birthday (she understands this because her birthday is two days before Christmas). And the reason Jesus was born is so our sins can be forgiven and we can go to be with him in heaven (she still doesn’t quite unnderstand this part yet).
Here’s something I’ve learned about my kids: if I say it often enough, they accept it as truth, even if they don’t understand it. If I talk about Santa more at Christmas than I do Jesus, then guess what Christmas is all about?
Here’s my bottom line: I’m a sinner. On my best day I deserve hell. I do not want my kids growing up thinking “dad thinks he’s perfect”. So I say “I’m sorry” a lot to them when I’ve made mistakes. You see I want my kids to grow up realizing that we all make mistakes and we need forgiveness. And Christmas is the time of the year we can focus on the forgiver – Jesus. Jesus’ birth ultimately leads to the cross. You cannot have one without the other. So make Christmas a time for sharing Jesus. Not just His birthday, but His very reason for coming in the first place. Tell your kids why Jesus’ birth is so wonderful for you as a Christian – that He has saved you from your sins. For me, this brings a clear sense of anticipation and expectation on the real reason for the season.
What does your family do to center Christ in your Christmas celebration? Join the conversation by posting a comment and maybe your ideas will help another family to make more of Christ this Christmas!