Christmas is the celebration of Jesus’ birth. We know this. We have the baby Jesus in the nativity sets in our homes. We see the pins and the bumper stickers of Jesus is the reason for the season. This is common knowledge.
When our girls were little we didn’t play up Santa Claus too much. We didn’t tell them they had to behave or they wouldn’t get gifts. We didn’t hold Santa over our girls’ heads from October on. We decided not to do that. It wasn’t a big deal. We openly talked about Santa and the girls sat on his lap almost every year. Santa was not a focus.
Giving gifts was a focus. Celebrating Jesus’ birthday was a big deal. We went to church either the Sunday before Christmas or on Christmas Eve. We talked about His gift to us in coming to earth.
Birthdays are a big deal in our house. Maybe that is why celebrating Jesus’ birthday was a natural fit for us. We tend to do birthdays up in a big way. There are banners and cakes and candles and gifts. We acknowledge birthdays and we celebrate, not really noticing the age that we have passed. At Christmas, I would have to make a birthday cake and decorate it for Jesus’ birthday. The girls were adamant about that when they were young. Eventually, I convinced them that maybe Jesus would rather have brownies or a different type of pie. They bought that, and it was so much nicer than having a cake to eat on top of the traditional Christmas desserts.
So, on Christmas morning we had a tradition. Hubby would get up and make certain the tree lights were on. He would make certain that Christmas had arrived. By this time the girls had been awake and were giggling and joking and ready to get out of bed. They could not get out of bed until Hubby had made the decision that Christmas was here.
Out they would come from their rooms. We would snuggle on the couch and hubby would read most of the second chapter of Luke. We would listen restlessly and keep our eyes on the presents under the tree. After the story, we would then give Jesus His birthday presents. This is something that hubby and I had done for a while before the girls were around. We continued it throughout their lives. Their gifts sometimes were the best part of Christmas.
When they were little they would scream out, ” I give Him a big ball”, knowing in their young mind that He was playing with the imagined ball while they spoke it. We had several years of balls and bicycles and things like that. As they grew, their gifts changed. Soon we were hearing that they were giving Him the worry about a certain class, or the frustration over a friendship. Then, we got to the point where we were hearing things like, ‘I am going to give Him my time.’
Gifts change through the years. The thought that goes into giving people gifts changes also. I love the concept of gifting others. I try to look while shopping with friends, to see what they are drawn to. Sometimes I hit it right on the head, other times I am not even close.
I know that many struggle during this time of year. The commercialization of Christmas is extreme. Being bombarded by ads and commercials and billboards, it is hard to not cave under the pressure. I love this time, though. I love the shopping part. I love to take the time while shopping for people. It makes me think about each person I buy for. I love the time to do that. I pray for the people as I am shopping for them. I thank the Lord for the gift they are to me.
This is a birthday celebration time. We got the greatest gift when He was born. It is an example of how to give great gifts to others. I think that is a wonderful thing to celebrate, the gift that others are in our life. Thanks for stopping by today, DAF