It was the day after Thanksgiving, and I decided it was time to put up the Christmas tree. I used to try to wait until December 1 because I imagined that Christmas was a December holiday. As I was straightening out the limbs and going through the lights, something kept nagging my spirit. Why do I celebrate Christmas?
In the past, I tried to focus on giving to others who may not have the means to give to their families what they would like to give. I wanted to be a beacon of love and Christmas was the perfect time to show that love. It was very meaningful for me and I hoped that my family would see that and try to do the same. I don’t know if they were ever inspired, and at this moment, I am not concerned because God will speak to them and I continually pray that they not only hear but obey.
What I have decided, in the meantime, is that my Christmas efforts were somewhat wasted because it didn’t really reflect my heart throughout the year. What I mean is, I was being narrow-minded at Christmas and I decided to search for opportunities to show love to others every day of the year, not just in December. It is slowly changing my perspective and my life. I find that I am exposed to many more distractions than before and the fight to keep growing in my relationship with God is much harder. This only fuels my determination. It’s the reason I write my posts. I’m not talking to you necessarily, although if you like to read what I have to say, I appreciate it. I’m talking mostly to me because I need it and I’m hoping that God is using my fingers to type what He needs me to know.
So, why do I celebrate Christmas? Why do I do the things that I do at Christmas when I don’t normally do them the rest of the year. You know, send cards to family and friends. Buy or make gifts to relatives that I rarely see or speak to? For me, it’s because Christmas is the time when Christians recognize the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ. It’s the one time when it’s acceptable to the rest of the world that we celebrate this magnificent gift of salvation through the Son of God. It’s my chance to preach without saying a word to people who otherwise wouldn’t give me the time of day. It’s a declaration of my ongoing fight to show Jesus that I love Him through loving others. To point them towards the light and not have them completely reject me. Shameful, isn’t it?
The rest of the year, I fight feelings of anger and resentment because these same people don’t know me and don’t care to know me. I don’t give them a reason to want to. I am the worst hypocrite there is and I have yet to exercise the self control that I confess everyday to have. Yes, I have it, because God promised me, but I haven’t tapped into it completely. I have more good days than bad, currently, but I know that can change on a dime. It did a couple of weeks ago, and I had to pull myself out of the rut again.
This year, I am focusing a little more on just loving Him. I’m still giving to others, and spreading His light, but I’m not thinking of them as in how will they like me now? I already know that Jesus loves me just as I am, which is obviously pretty incredible since the rest of the world doesn’t see me like He does, so I am just loving Him back. He is the reason I celebrate Christmas. He is the reason I have a tree sitting in my den and the reason we have lights on our house. He is the reason I create gifts for my family and extended family. It is all because of Him that I will find a way to make some family’s Christmas possible when they don’t have the means to give to their own children. I correct myself. God shows me the way to do it, I am determined to obey.
So, I ask you, if you happened to read this all the way through. Why do you celebrate Christmas?