You guys, Christmas is great.
What’s not to love?! It gets a little cold, but not too cold (I see you, January.) so you have a chance to pull out your best jacket and drink warm drinks. There are lots of parties, so you get all caught up on the happenings and the goings-on. There are some great things on TV. It’s a season with it’s own music that you already know the words to. It’s a perfect opportunity to take a tree that normally goes outside, and put it inside! Seriously, what’s not to love about Christmas?
I’m writing a bit tongue-in-cheek, of course, but these parts of Christmas truly are fun and something to look forward to. But without the Christ-child, they’re meaningless. They’re window dressing. They’re liquid butter without the popcorn. They’re a parade without purpose. They’re an appetizer without a main course.
The Christmas season is a season of anticipation and remembrance. If the object of our anticipation is wrong, our celebration will be misguided. And if our remembering is weak or fuzzy, our worship is miscalibrated.
It’s tempting to only anticipate the “season” of Christmas instead of the event. And it’s tempting to remember the Christmases of years past and their memories instead of the original Christmas and the hope that comes with it.
But succumbing to those temptations leads us down a road of misguided praise and misplaced worship. We become the misinformed child who becomes enamored with the cardboard box and unaware of the treasure inside.
So this Christmas season, practice ways in which the coming of Christ (and his coming again!) is more anticipated than the coming of Santa.
Read the Christmas story together as a family. Talk about who the Biblical characters were and what they would have felt like. Name out loud how your life would be different in the Christ-child hadn’t come.
If the Christmas season is about the presence of God with us, practice presence with your family. If the Christmas season is about God’s greatest gift, consider making a gift to someone in need.
Find a baby, hold him, and think about him as the savior of the world. Consider putting that baby in the dog bowl and ponder the humility of Christ.
Whatever you need to do to focus your soul on Jesus, strive hard to do that thing. You were created by the Almighty God to worship Him and know Him.
Let Christmas be the season for you to do what you were created to do.