So it is now Christmas Eve. This year I wanted to be intentional about examining the different ways Christmas can become meaningful to me again. I wanted a way to clear out the noise of the mall parking lots, the constant barrage of advertisements, the stress of putting on a ridiculous show for Christmas services. I wanted to find that delight I knew as a child in seeing the lights and the holly around me and knowing that this was the best time of the year. For those who have been reading, thanks for taking this journey with me and I hope it has helped remind you how to stay sane and remember Christ in this time.
For Christmas Eve, I wanted to make a few summary points and then get back to being with my wonderful family. These are just a few things I took away on how to make Christmas meaningful.
1. See giving gifts to each other as an act of worship, not a mundane and pointless ritual. God gave us an incredible gift in His Son, so as we give gifts, we are proclaiming his glory by following in his steps.
2. Use the Christmas holiday as a means of imparting the Gospel story to your kids and neighbors. This doesn’t mean that Santa can’t be a part of the tradition, but there are few other holidays, save maybe Easter, in the year that allow you to share the gospel so easily to the people around you.
3. Read the nativity not only historically, but theologically. Christ’s birth was a not a random historical event. It was the perfect provision God laid out from Eden to Abraham to David and the Exile. God knew Christ before time began. His mercy was no accident.
4. Don’t kill yourself with expensive gifts. If you have the means, go for it. If you don’t, then do what you can afford. This year Lauren and I made gifts for each other instead of buying gifts for each other, and I guarantee the gifts we gave each other will be remembered as some of the most meaningful of our relationship.
5. Have a plan for teaching generosity to your kids. Children are greedy by nature and if we’re not careful, Christmas can be a time that reinforces children’s greed. Recognize this and create in your Christmas tradition outlets for generosity as examples to your kids.
6. Read beyond the first verse of the Christmas hymns we sing. The third and fourth verses of many of these songs are some of the richest theology I have ever heard in songs.
7. Do whatever it takes to pray and praise God for this time. Christmas is a holiday that celebrates God’s grace, so let’s celebrate it.
I hope everyone has a great Christmas tomorrow and that we praise Jesus for his birth. Come Lord Jesus, Come!