There are so many wonderful things about this time of year. We all look forward to giving gifts, spending them with family and friends, and participating in fun traditions during the Christmas season.
However . . .
Is Christmas really about Jesus?
My family and I watched a Christmas program on Netflix over the weekend and I came away asking myself that question. It was all about getting off Santa’s naughty list, gifts and getting what you want for Christmas.
I came away so sad.
Not to be a Scrooge, but it seems to me that many aspects of Christmas began years ago with good intentions, but have now overtaken the real reason we celebrate Christmas: to celebrate Jesus’ birth and acknowledge His place in our lives.
In our American culture, it’s easy to get caught up in the marketing and commercialism of Christmas, isn’t it? Companies spend millions of dollars trying to get us to buy their products around this time of year.
As traditions have evolved over the years, now we’re doing more and spending more all in such a short amount of time. When our attention is spread so wide and so thin, it’s hard to focus on the main thing—Jesus. With so much going on, it’s easy for us to lose sight of what really matters about Christmas.
As parents, it’s important for us to teach our children about the real reason for the season. Whether we realize it or not, we’re modeling this for them by our example. Let’s keep the main thing about Christmas the main thing!
If we’ve lost focus and are stressed about all the things to do, buy and fill our schedule during this time of year, our kids might be too. But if we’re intentional and focused on Jesus, they’ll more likely learn to do that.
When I’m torn on whether my family or I should participate in a tradition or activity, I ask myself these questions: “Would participating in ___________________ be honoring to Christ? Would He be pleased with me/us spending time, energy, focus or money in this way? Especially in honor of His birthday?”
The answer to those questions might be different from family to family. The heart of asking them isn’t about legalism or comparison, but rather coming from a place of humility and truly wanting to honor Christ as we celebrate His birth.
It may mean you realize you should say no to traditions or activities because it/they don’t add to celebrating Jesus, but distract you and your family from it. While it may not be easy, you’ll likely feel more peace in your home and your heart as you make Christmas about Christ.
Wishing you and your family a very Merry Christmas!