the importance of Christmas

The importance of Christmas

One of my favorite modern Christmas songs is This is Christmas by Kutless.  The words in the chorus are thought-provoking and profound:

What is Christmas?
If there never was a Savior wrapped in a manger
What is Christmas without Christ?

Indeed. What if a Baby, who would grow to be the Savior of mankind, was never born?

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For one, we would definitely not have the Christmas holiday. There would be nothing to celebrate.

I, for one, love the whole idea of Christmas. The day after Thanksgiving, my husband gets a calorie-burning workout hauling the numerous bins of decorations from our Christmas closet up the stairs. He then heads outside to set up “Wally and Eva,” our two laser light devices that shine brightly all over the front of our house and garage.

There is joy in shopping for presents for my family and mailing packages to my extended family in several different states. The delight my daughters and I find in baking delicious goodies for our neighbors and close friends and delivering them a few weeks in advance is an event we look forward to each year.

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And don’t even get me started on Christmas music. Let’s just say my Christmas playlist somehow mysteriously (or not so mysteriously) found its way into playing two days before Thanksgiving. Nope, I just couldn’t wait. And I seemed to run even farther and faster on the treadmill while listening to that Christmas playlist.

All of those things in and of themselves are fine. It’s when we replace the real meaning of Christmas with temporary things – and put our focus solely on those things – that we find ourselves in error.

Anything can become an idol – anything that we make more important than God. Can Christmas presents, decorations, food, tinsel, and laser lights become idols?

Absolutely.

Especially presents.

Or add in the busyness of this time of year. The pressure to live up to expectations to create the holiday a certain way for others, as well as ourselves, can become a stress-fest.

Or the debt that we manage to accumulate while finding all those perfect presents for everyone on our gift list.

Do we even remember – and take time to realize – that the perfect present is right before us? The gift of eternal life. Something that will far outlast anything in our temporary world.

So I’m reminding myself this year that it is all about the Savior that was born in the manger. It is all about that Baby that was born on earth and grew to be a man who would give His life for all mankind. A brutal death with the sins of the world on His back, Jesus paid the ultimate sacrifice.

For me.

For you.

For us all.

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This holiday season, let’s make Christ the ultimate reason we celebrate.  Let’s place Him in His rightful place of importance. Ahead of the trees, the food, the presents, the Christmas music, and the laser lights.

And let’s do more than celebrate Him. Let’s show our gratitude for what He has done for us. Not just on December 25, but on every day of the year.


Other blog posts on this blog you may be interested in reading:

8 great Christmas gift ideas for wives

Thankful for the small things…

All Things Christmas: Favorite Movies of the Season

All things Christmas: favorite songs of the season

14 things for girls to consider before dating

15 verses for strength in challenging times

the importance of respectful disagreement

All things Christmas: Favorite Christmas Memories

Today is our final installment of All Things Christmas. It has been a lot of fun joining my daughter from Madi’s Musings and sharing all things Christmas. Madi has a fascinating and fun post this week about Christmas around the world. You’ll want to pop on over and see some interesting traditions that our friends across the globe do to celebrate Christmas.

On my blog, I’m discussing favorite Christmas memories. I reached out to friends and asked them about their favorite Christmas memories. Here are their responses:

Christmas 1969, I was five and my brother was eight. We got up on Christmas morning to see if Santa had paid us a visit and we were not disappointed!After opening all the gifts, my dad and my seventeen-year-old cousin, who was staying with us, told my brother and me to get dressed; they had seen something outside in the snow and thought we might want to see it too.Out in the front yard in the pristine snow were the tracks of a sleigh, numerous tiny hoof prints, and boot prints going to and from the house! (we didn’t have a fireplace, but we did have a front door that opened into the living room where the Christmas tree was located!!!)In 2005 at a family reunion, my cousin sat down next to me and asked, “Do you remember Christmas 1969?” To which I said, “Yes and I don’t want to know!”He got up and walked away laughing!That was nearly fifty-one years ago and I still believe!!!! ~ Jordan M.

It’s impossible to choose. One tradition I fondly remember is “lighting”, where we’d drive around town looking at Christmas lights before voting on which house we liked best. ~ Madi Z.

I remember when I was 8, the first Christmas after my dad had left my mom, it was a lean time for my mom. A local toy drive left toys on our porch Christmas morning. I got a Little Red Riding Hood doll and a clown music jewelry box. I have never forgotten that and after I got married, I have always bought toys for the local toy drives. That was 39 years ago and one of the few toys I specifically remember. ~ Missy S.

I have two favorite memories. One was the year I received a new red bike. The other was the last year my extended family and I were able to spend Christmas together before they moved. ~ Lizzie T.

My favorite Christmas memory isn’t of just one particular year. My favorite memory is all the years my mom and I would spend several hours making cookies for all the neighbors, co-workers (hers), mailman, garbage men and who ever else. It has been over 20 years since we’ve done that. I have all her recipes and tried doing it on my own but it’s not the same. ~ Angel M.

My Grandfathers last Christmas, he wasn’t predicted to make it that long. So the joy and gratefulness of all of us being able to share that moment. It was never somber just a day of love and remembering and he had this burst of health and didn’t feel sick or look as if he was passing on. It was awesome. I am about to celebrate my grandbabbies first Christmas and it makes me think of that circle. ~ Michele J.

Memories are priceless.

Christmas memories…those precious times spent celebrating our Savior’s birth with family and friends. I was thinking about my own favorite memories yesterday and couldn’t narrow it down to just one. There were those times growing up when we crowded around a huge long table at my grandma (Nanie’s) house with all of our relatives. Sneaking Christmas cookies that tempted us from their place on the table before dinner was a highlight. Nanie brought out the “reserve” silverware – ancient mismatched spoons, forks, and knives that hadn’t seen the light of day since the prior year. I would be remiss if I forgot to mention the large homemade welded stocking holder (an ugly metal monstrosity) my grandpa (Papa) made to hold the 23 stockings. Nanie and Papa’s house was very small (a one bedroom/one bath) with limited seating, and it didn’t matter that it was always 150 degrees in the middle of a cold western winter. The important thing was that we were all together.

Fast forward to the more recent precious years of spending Christmas with our own daughters. No longer living near Nanie and Papa, we have made our own traditions. Christmas Eve service, remembering the true reason we celebrate Christmas, the hum of Christmas music playing throughout the day, and lights glowing on the tree and wrapped around the railing create an image I treasure. We open gifts after a treasure hunt designed lovingly each year for our girls.

We never quite get around to breakfast because we feast on goodies beneath the tree that we all surprise each other with. Not a healthy tradition, but a fun one nonetheless, and a precursor to our delicious Christmas dinner with ham, mashed potatoes, corn, and of course, pumpkin pie. And let’s not forget the “trick” gifts that find their way beneath the tree each year.

What is your favorite Christmas memory?

Join me tomorrow for my post about the importance of Christmas.

Other All Things Christmas posts you may enjoy:

All Things Christmas: Movies of the Season

All Things Christmas: Christmas Around the World

All Things Christmas: Favorite Songs of the Season

All Things Christmas: Gifts for the Bookworm in Your Life

All Things Christmas: Book Ideas for Christmas Gifts