I had an interesting conversation with my husband. He explained to me that he no longer cared to celebrate Christmas. He is just simply disgusted with people and their selfish motives that he does not want to participate. He was pretty adamant. He said that those people who are giving to charities right now are only doing it for the write off because if they really cared, they would have been giving all year round. (I hate to break it to him, but there’s a lot of people who have been giving year round who only want the write off) But, he’s thinking that if you’re going to give, you need to give because you are trying to make the world a better place and you care about others.
I had to agree with him, but only partially. Yes, the world is celebrating the joys of getting gifts and making money. Just watch television for 30 minutes during the month of December and you will see that it’s all about that big holiday sale and how you’ll be in the doghouse if you don’t get the right gift. And you see a lot of stories about holiday charitable activities that you never hear about the rest of the year. (Some of these charities are charging a huge expense in exchange for very little and pocketing the rest, so beware who you give to.)
But that’s not why I love Christmas time. That’s not why I give gifts. That’s not why I give to charities. The world doesn’t influence me on how I treat Christmas. I do things differently and I don’t care what you think of it. First of all, I make most of my gifts. There’s nothing out there that I can buy that will have as much heart in what I can make and I can customize it to promote the true meaning of Christmas rather than the “Happy Holidays” message being shoved in our faces. Second, I give because God gave to me the gift of salvation and eternal life with Him. I can never repay Him, but I can show others a small sample of the love that He has shown me. Third, Christmas is a time when most people are more receptive to hearing about Christ and how it was such a miracle that He was even on this earth, much less His selfless sacrifice for each of us.
I decorate and give gifts because I am celebrating my Lord’s birthday. I love Him more than anything in this world and I want to show Him that love. I want to use this celebration as a catalyst into the next year for spiritual growth and maturity. To take my faith into a whole new level and be the salt of the earth and the light of the world just as my Savior told me to. (Matt 5:13-16)
The world is a cold place. It is self-serving, conniving and deceiving. It will lift you up as long as you conform to it, never letting you know the dangers you are putting yourself in. It will always leave you hungry for more, never satisfying your need for happiness, only the illusion of it will be seen by the rest of us. Meanwhile, the only Way to peace is the only means that embarrasses you because no one else really believes that stuff. those of us who live by the Word are just taking that God stuff a little too far. But tell me, why am I at peace with myself and my life, even when things aren’t perfect? It’s not because of the world, the things I have or the people I know. It’s only because of the One whose birthday I celebrate this time of year.