Christmas is a day of meaning and traditions. The great, late Margaret Thatcher had that correct. To different people, Christmas means different things. And, in today’s world much of the original meaning of Christmas has been lost in the hustle and bustle of this most wonderful time of the year. It really is the most wonderful time of the year, though, isn’t it? It seems like as soon as November arrives, we are all gathered together for Thanksgiving and that feeling of family and togetherness just seems to grow as December 25th approaches. But, it is frankly a little disheartening to me to think that one can celebrate Christmas without mentioning Christ at all. For Christ really is the reason for the Christmas season. Yes, family, friends, time with loved ones, traditions, and love are all wonderful and should be focused on during this season, but have we not forgotten why we celebrate Christmas at all?
Jesus Christ, the Son of God, came to earth as a little baby in order to live a perfect life, and die on the cross as the atoning sacrifice for our sin in order that our relationship with God might be restored and we can spend eternity with him. That is the true reason we celebrate Christmas.
Sometimes, I can forget that this is the reason I can be so joyous this time of year. Jesus, my savior, came to earth to save me. It reminds me of what the Apostle Paul writes in Philippians chapter 2,
Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
Not only did Jesus come to save me, but He is with me every day, every hour. And, this is all because He came to earth as a little baby in a manger. How glorious! I think this very reason is why such phrases as these below have become so beloved by many.
So, while we are all celebrating this wonderful time of year, let us not forget the true reason for the season.
But, lest you think that I am poo-pooing the fun times and traditions that so many of us hold dear to our hearts, I most certainly am not. I just want to remind all of us, myself especially, that I am truly celebrating the birth of the Savior of the world.
As all of you who know me well know, I LOVE Christmas traditions. So, because I have talked a little about the true meaning of Christmas, let us talk a bit about traditions. Now, I believe it is very important to keep Christ in many of our Christmas traditions so that we can remember what He has done for us – but some things we do, we do for FUN – and that is perfectly okay too. Jesus did say, “I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.“
I did a little research on some of the most common Christmas traditions, and found it fun to identify which ones were a part of my growing up, and which ones I want to continue in my new family with Drew. As a side note, I am so thankful for Drew – He has put up with a crazed Christmas fairy (me) who has come to our house, played Christmas songs, put up Christmas Decorations, invited friends over for Christmas themed parties, etc. non-stop since the day after Thanksgiving. In fact, while many others were out in the middle of the night on Black Friday, Drew got up early to get our Christmas tree for me. We got a killer deal at Home Depot.
Anyway, back to some of those fun Traditions – As the author of this blog post, I have absolute authority as to what to write, so I’m picking my favorite traditions, since there were thousands of traditions out there…and this post would be much too long if I included them all. If you click on each of these, you’ll find some interesting facts about the origins of each tradition.
- Christmas Trees
- Gift Giving
- Santa Claus
- Gingerbread Houses
- Christmas Cards
- Advent Calendars
- Christmas Eve Candlelight Services
Each of these traditions is very dear to my heart. And, as newlyweds, Drew and I have already started our own traditions. We have a tree, stockings (Thanks to his wonderful monther!), Christmas carols playing almost non-stop in our apartment (a personal favorite is Josh Groban’s O Holy Night), and we’ve already had one or two gingerbread house making parties/competitions. But, I’m most excited for the Christmas Celebration Drew is taking me to this Friday night at one of the larger churches in Houston. Their choir is nearly 400 people if not more and they sound like a company of Angles. I love worshiping Jesus with singing. I watched their video excerpt from last year’s show and it brought me to tears. After the Christmas Celebration, I’ll be leaving Drew one week early to head back to Hoosierland to spend time with my family before Drew joins us that Friday. I haven’t been home since our honeymoon in October and I’m so excited to see my niece Vivian, my family, friends, and SNOW! Directly following our Christmas at the Koss’ Farm, we’ll be headed over to Ohio to spend New Year’s with Drew’s family. Then, comes the long drive back to Texas – when we arrive home, it will be time for our dear friends Ben & Kailin’s WEDDING! Can you believe how many wonderful things we have ahead of us? I have so much for which to be very thankful.