Merry Christmas from my family to yours! The holidays at the Correias have been a bit out of whack, at least partly because it’s been unseasonably warm in Phoenix. It’s sunny and about 65 degrees right now! So Bing’s “White Christmas” isn’t exactly hitting home right now.
What I love about Christmastime, though, is that it really doesn’t depend upon whether my experience matches up with the utopian songs of my culture. It doesn’t depend upon whether the tree is trimmed perfectly or the gifts are expensive. It doesn’t depend on whether I get to see my extended family or roast chestnuts over an open fire.
What I love about Christmas is Christ. Whatever else happens, tonight my family will gather with other families who are near and dear to our hearts and worship God. We will sing, pray, and hear a message (okay, I will give it, but that means I have heard it in my head a hundred times already) about the great God we have. He saw nothing redemptive in us, and yet sent His Son to live among us and die in our place because of His great love.
We will have the Christmas traditions that many have. The kids will open a gift tonight before bed, and Laura will wrap gifts feverishly after they hit the sack. (notice I said Laura will wrap gifts. I will probably watch recorded episodes of Million Dollar Money Drop or Albert Finney in “Scrooge”, the GREATEST Christmas Carol adaptation in history)
We will open gifts in the morning, call family, and cook all day.
The center of all of that tradition, though, is the gift of Christ. We will read the Christmas story in Luke 2 together. I will remind each of us that the gifts we give each other are a token of the gifts that the wise men gave to Jesus and a reminder of the gift that God has given us. And hopefully, between Christmas Eve services at church and focusing in the morning, we will celebrate Christ this Christmas.
Merry Christmas from me to you!
How about you? How are you trying to keep Christ in Christmas this year?