Is anyone else having a hard time believing Christmas is this Sunday? Time has gone by so fast. I suppose that is a good thing, since the faster time goes, the sooner it will be spring. I was crushed to hear on the radio that today is the first official day of winter. In my head, winter started a month ago. Boo. Despite our Halloween snow surprise, the temperatures have stayed in the upper 30s and low 40s and there hasn’t been anymore snow. But last year it didn’t snow until after Christmas and then we had a snow storm every week, so I’m not holding my breath.
Anyway, back to Christmas. I always liked how my parents handled Christmas when we were growing up. We always received our presents on December 6, St. Nicholas Day. Nicholas was a Christian who generously provided for those in need. This is a good site to read up on St. Nicholas. On Christmas day we simply woke up and had hot chocolate and breakfast while my dad read to us from Luke. We pondered what Christmas is really about – the birth of our Savior – and spent quality time together as a family.
Now that I’m grown up, married, and living on my own, I’ve been more exposed to the secular Christmas culture. When I look at the people around me who are putting up trees, buying gifts, stuffing stockings, talking about Santa Claus, I wonder, “What does this mean to them?” It’s so hollow. Yes, I decorate a tree and participate in giving and receiving gifts on Christmas. But I know it’s so much more than that. I love going to the Christmas Eve service to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. If the trees and gifts and decorations were all stripped away, my cup would still overflow on Christmas.
And that, Charlie Brown, is the true meaning of Christmas.
30 And the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. 31 And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus. 32 He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. And the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David, 33 and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.” – Luke 1:30-33
8 And in the same region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. 9 And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with great fear. 10 And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. 11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. 12 And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.” 13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying,
14 “Glory to God in the highest,
and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!” – Luke 2:8-14