Thoughts on Christmas

I’m back home and I plan on writing on the thoughts that I had on the way home probably tomorrow. For now, I hope my loyal readers didn’t mind the absence of a blog yesterday, but I knew my family was wanting to see me and I wanted to go on and get home.

I’d like to write tonight on how Christmas has changed over the years for me and maybe some of you are in the same boat. I remember being younger and getting to bed at an early time on Christmas Eve night. (Well, as early as I could. We usually stayed up till about midnight opening presents at my aunt’s.) I wanted to get to bed so I could see all the cool stuff I got in the morning.

I don’t think patience is one of my strong points. I remember getting up in the morning and making sure that my parents got up and rushing them as quickly as I could so we could go downstairs and we could all have Christmas together. I can remember some of the gifts that I got for Christmas, but as I look back, it’s harder and harder. 

As I’ve got older, I look forward more to the reactions of other people when they see the gifts that I’ve got them. This year with my roommate, it added a new perspective as I’d see him open gifts that I’d told them that he’d like and seeing the joy that he had, as well as the joy at hearing that my mother had gone out and bought a chocolate cheesecake. 

There are so many gifts that I can’t wait to see other people open them. That joy is a far greater joy to me. Now that doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy receiving gifts, I do. It does mean though that being older and wiser, I see the wisdom of the quotation from Acts of Christ. “It is more blessed to give than to receive.” (Acts 20:35)

Now that I’m away, Christmas has become more about family. It’s not in opening gifts that I will eventually not see as exciting as I do at the time, but it’s about the moments of seeing my mother’s face and having chats with my Dad again. This morning, my family and I watched Monk together on a USA network marathon, something we used to always do together.

Let it not be lost on us though what makes this day so astounding, as it easily can be. This is the day to celebrate that the Word became flesh. Heaven came down and visited Earth. God wrote a story and then made an appearance in his own story. The author stepping into it caused the calendar to be restarted.

The world is vastly different today as a result of Jesus. It has been said that if Jesus had never been, we could have never invented a Jesus, and I concur entirely. We have grown up with the message of the gospel though that in a sad weay, we have lost the shock value of it. There are so many things that we would be stunned to hear as people living in the 1st century Roman Empire that we think of in a more “Ho hum” kind of way today.

As a child, I did look and wonder what each gift was for me under the tree. May it be that we regain and never lose the wonder of the gift God gave to us.

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