i am the biggest fan of the holidays. i love everything about them. i even love the idea of them. just to help you better understand this obsession, let me tell you a short story. one year, some years ago, my family decided that there was just not enough time, due to crazy schedules, in november or december to put up the christmas tree. so naturally, we decided that we would put up the tree in october & that we wouldn't tell anyone that we did it. well, when you put up your tree on october, & you have three small children, there is no way that story is not getting out. we went to church the next day, where my dad was on staff, & told everyone. of course, no adult would believe us & would approach my parents about it. they couldn't lie! we kind of played it off like we were going to have a whole bunch of people over for a coffee & dessert night at the end of october. i'm not sure if that really was a part of the plan, but anyhow, putting up the tree that early became a tradition. well, this year, there a problem. i am junior in college & i decided, before leaving for school in august, that i was not going to drive home for our four day break in october, which i had driven home in previous years. my fifteen year old sister found out & came in and said, "we are putting up the tree without you then!" i simply asked her if we could be "normal," whatever that means, & put the tree up in november when i came home for thanksgiving. of course, her loud, dramatic answer was no. so there was only one obvious solution to this problem: we HAD to put the tree up before i leave for school. people, our christmas tree has been up since july. call me crazy, but i love my dang family!
i will be the first to admit that i love the commercial aspect of christmas. i love christmas trees, christmas music, christmas snow, christmas cards, christmas coffee, christmas movies, christmas shopping, christmas santa, and christmas EVERYTHING. i love the way that christmas makes people behave differently. i love the memories that surround my love of christmas; most of those memories are full of my dad. he would make us do stupid stuff like make fake news broadcasts saying that the snow was so falling so hard we were going to be snowed in for days, while throwing white confetti at us. i live in houston. christmas is never white. or there was the time when we were trying to hard to convince my little brother that santa's real (& santa is) & we made it seem like he was in such a hurry that there was a path of presents that led to the chimney. of course, my brother thought it was the greatest thing ever.
but let's be real. during this time, we tend to get our priorities a little mixed up. & i will be the first to admit that i sometimes let the commercial aspect of the holidays get in the way of the true meaning of christmas. what is that you asked? well, to quote a sermon that my dad gave "you are the reason for the season." many times we see christmas cards and coloring pages in sunday school that say, "Jesus is the reason for the season." & my dad would argue that. granted christmas is a time to celebrate that Jesus was born, i think that if we only focus on the fact that He was born, we have lost sight of the true meaning. we have to ask ourselves WHY Jesus was born. john 3:16 says, "for God so loved the world." that is you & me. the world. Jesus wasn't just born so we could make a holiday out of it. Jesus was born into the world so that thirty-three years later He could offer up the greatest love sacrifice known to man, His life.
so this christmas, while you are christmas shopping, putting up your christmas tree, listening to glorious christmas music, & watching the greatest christmas movies, stop & take a moment to remember, not that Jesus was just born, but that He lived & died for you.
getting a little excited about the approaching holidays? let me just say, you aren't the only one!