What Makes Christmas Merry?
By: Patti Bankson
While thinking about what to write this week, I looked over at the bulletin board in my office and saw the Christmas card we got a couple of years ago from one of our daughters and her family… it’s a photo of our granddaughter kneeling in front of their fireplace with her puppy, Hannah beside her. They’re looking at each other and Skyler is telling Hannah (in the caption), “Don’t worry, he’s coming!” The innocent confidence I saw there reminded me that, in various ways, children everywhere are having their Santa-is-real bubble popped… being robbed of the chance to hang on to childhood just a little bit longer.
Yes, I know Santa’s not real… known that for decades. But seeing that card made me feel a little sad to think that a bit of what’s the most fun about Christmas for little ones might come to an abrupt end this year for some of them… the magic of believing that Santa and his reindeer really will land on the roof, put presents under the tree, and take time to enjoy the milk and cookies that are set out for him, before taking off with a, “Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good-night!”
We’ve come a long way from our “old-fashioned” Christmases and our attitudes about what Christmas means, and how to celebrate it. There was a time when people could go into the woods, chop down their very own tree, take it home and decorate it with whatever they could make with what they had available. When they were done, they “oohed” and “aahed” over it as though it were the most beautiful tree in the world. For them, it was. And for them, the home-made gifts they received were the best they’d ever gotten.
For whatever reasons, Christmas has become about buying… it’s become a holiday that can’t be celebrated if you don’t have money to spend. Strange as it sounds… and not that we’d want them to continue indefinitely, but… these bad financial times could make this Christmas the best ever. Maybe instead of focusing on what you can’t buy, you could focus on appreciating what you already have… someone to love and someone who loves you. Maybe you can pour your heart into a gift that you make yourself; even if it’s simply a card telling someone how much they mean to you. Or maybe you can pour your self into making someone else’s Christmas Merry… someone who might be suffering more than you are… someone who really wouldn’t have a Christmas… without you.
How about gathering your loved ones close, opening the Bible and reading about the baby named Jesus, from whom the Christ in Christmas comes. The baby who grew into the man who, as the Son of God, gave everything He was, and had, so that if we would believe in Him, we would have the greatest gifts of all… Peace in our hearts, Joy, no matter our circumstances, and best of all, eternal life.
Believing in Him is even better than believing in Santa Claus, and could really put the Merry into your Christmas this year. Talk to Him about it, and see what happens!
Happy Birthday, Jesus… and to everyone else, Merry Christmas!
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