A Shocking Christmas Confession
It’s December, that means if you are in church, you are hearing some version of the story of Christs birth. One thing most messages have in common is the lament that the holiday is isn’t about the birth of Jesus any more. It’s about shopping and not shepherds keeping watch, it’s about busyness and not a baby, it’s about “Jingle Bell Rock” and not “Silent Night.”
Warning** Shocking Content Ahead
I love almost everything about Christmas that has nothing to do with Jesus.
Yep, you read that right.
The day after Thanksgiving (not before, because that’s just wrong in my world) my husband is up in the roof getting the twelve boxes of lights that go up on the roof. At least one tree gets set up, and the everyday décor goes into the boxes the all the decorations come out of.
I sing “Let it Snow” and “Santa’s Got a Hot Rod” at least once a day and there are never enough white lights for me.
I love everything about Christmas that has nothing to do with Jesus.
But wait, I’m not done.
I love everything about Christmas that IS about Jesus more.
The biggest outdoor decorating decision is where the manger scene goes. Some years Dave builds a crèche, or we buy a bale of hay for our twenty five year old plaster family. They are showing their age, especially under the spot light we put on them. This year we bought a new set but sent it back, so in the meantime they sit on top of a bench, humble but the most important thing in the yard for people to see.
Inside, in years past, our family tradition has been that my daughter would set up the crèche in the house. Now, it’s my three year old granddaughter that does it. Every time she’s at the house she rearranges them, and apparently the wise men and shepherd have the same name as her grandparents, even though the Bible is silent on that.
Chris Rices Christmas “Living Room Sessions” wafts through the house, between Third Day and Selah, because no matter who else makes a Christmas album, these will always be my favorites. I decorate with Christmas themed books, like “Shepherds Abiding” by Jan Karon and most of my décor has scripture on it.
The first gift I pick out for everyone is a book-either a devotional, Bible or some other faith building book. I try to be the customer that harassed retail employees’ love- patient, grateful and cheerful, which takes the grace of God because I hate shopping. Sometimes it makes them chatty and I can ask what they’re doing for the holiday and invite them to church.
I’m out of my mind busy, and every week hold some event that makes a connection with real people about a real baby that was born to die, which sounds terrible but because He lives, it’s the best news of all.
I love everything about Christmas that has nothing to do with Jesus because those things are tied to traditions from years past, and over decorating your house is as American as apple pie now. As the people I shared those traditions with leave this life, I cling tightly to those memories of picking out trees, decorating the house, platters of cookies, Michigan Rummy and my brothers midnight Christmas Eve shopping trips for gag gifts at Thrifty’s Drugstore.
But I love everything about Christmas that is about Jesus even more, because with every remembrance of His birth comes the comfort of the eternal life He offered-the gift my parents and sister accepted from Him. The gift He offers every day of the year, not just at Christmas.
So make some hot chocolate, put it in a thermos, and when it gets dark drive around your neighborhood and look at lights with your family. Keep traditions, make some new ones, eat some cookies and love all there is to love about Christmas.
Because He loves you more.