Childhood memories of Christmas
Throughout my youth, Christmas was generally a happy time for me and my family. While my family experienced normal family difficulties, overall we were extremely blessed and had much to be thankful for. I have many wonderful memories of Christmas time as a child and am so thankful for all of the blessings I received.
Although, as a child I didn’t fully understand the true purpose for celebrating Christmas. Christmas was all about receiving gifts as far as I was concerned. It’s not as if my parents didn’t teach me the value of giving, but for some reason I believed that Christmas was all about me.
I remember one specific Christmas when my grandpa and grandma gave me a really cool toy. The only problem was that I already had the exact same toy. Upon opening the generous gift, I told my grandparents that I already had a Lion-O ThunderCat action figure, but thanked them anyways. Yes, I was young and unknowing. Yes, it is probably fairly common for a child to respond that way. However, if I am to be completely honest, I would most likely still think that way if the same thing happened to me this Christmas.
I can’t overstate how this story is not an all encapsulating description of what is wrong with Christmas. All it is, is a memory that reminds me what Christmas used to mean to me. My focus on gift getting as a child doesn’t make me a horrible person, but it does remind me of my self centered nature. Even to this day, I naturally care more about myself than others. It is an extremely difficult challenge to love my neighbor as myself, as I am called (Matthew 22:39).
Christmas is all about Christ
Christmas is a wonderful time of year and it is a great time to demonstrate compassion and kindness through gift giving. Yes, it truly is better to give than to receive (Acts 20:35). That cannot be lost on us during this Christmas season. However, giving and receiving gifts should not be our primary focus. Our primary focus should be on the greatest gift giver of all time. God gives us life and most importantly, He offers eternal life through His son, Jesus Christ. We should remember why He came to earth so long ago.
Jesus came to earth as a baby in a manger. He healed the sick and afflicted. He performed miracles beyond our understanding. He repeatedly demonstrated peace to mankind. He came to the earth to save sinners. He came to testify to the truth. He lived a sinless life. He was completely obedient to His father, even to the point of dying on the cross.
One thing that we shouldn’t overlook this Christmas is that He is with us. Above all, Christmas should remind us that Jesus is with us. “All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: “The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel” (which means “God with us“).” Matthew 1:22-23
It isn’t until you put a single snowflake under a microscope that you see its true beauty. However, the majesty of Jesus can be clearly seen through the lens of the Word of God and through His creation. You just have to be willing to look. May He be with you this Christmas.