It is the magical season, filled with love, warmth, lights, parties, and festivities. Baking dozens of cookies to share with all around. Plastering lights on the house and in the house to bring a special kind of glow to the time of year.
I love these things...other than that baking part...I actually hate using an oven and a stove...
But it is indeed the time of year I look forward to the most. I love the family. I love the surprises. And now that I have a child, I love to see her excitement as she grows and comes into a better understanding of what Christmas is.
I believe, however, this is the question for many adults too. What is Christmas? As I scope out the social media and see saddened spirits because of the past or because this year won't be special, I hurt for them. I hurt because they are missing a big piece, or they have been burned this time of year before. And while Christmas is magical with all of the things we try to cram into it, it's magic would be greater and much more consistent if we relied on the biggest piece of all: Jesus.
I shudder when I see others try to make it about things of this world. Or other gods. Or try to argue that Christmas isn't about Jesus. I hurt because I know they hurt or will hurt.
When Christmas expectations aren't met, we are left on December 26 feeling emptier and mostly exhausted, rather than full and fully inspired. What if we did make Christmas about Jesus though?
Would we walk away from December 25th, feeling the light of His presence in our lives, no matter the circumstance, because we just spent time celebrating what He has done for us? I think Christmas is a time to pay dues - never because we are required to, but because He paid it all for us.
Everyday, we should pay it back, but Christmas is one of those times that gets so blown out of proportion with the materialism and the lack of Christ, that I feel we should make it so much more. Making it more of Jesus, makes it less exhausting.
We walk away feeling blessed beyond thought because we know His blessings ring true all the days of our lives when we walk with Him. We walk away hopeful, because He came as a humble baby and conquered on our behalf. We walk away joyful because His coming was a game changer for every aspect of our lives. We walk away peaceful because we are reminded that nothing in the world can touch us when we have Him. We walk away full of love because He is our ultimate example of unconditional, never-ending, never-failing love. We walk away full of light, because we as Christians have a reason to shine.
I get that we want to fight to accept everyone. I get that sharing love is misunderstood with acceptance. (I love my addicted friend, but I don't accept what he does.) I get that we feel that in order to accept everyone, we feel like we need to make Christmas a Holiday. But Christ came first, and He deserves to be FIRST. The FIRST commandments are about Him - in fact, one of the commandments tells us to put Him FIRST. We are to love Him FIRST.
He has every right to be FIRST at Christmas. We love others, but we put God FIRST.
If I'm going to fight about anything or work to help others who need to desperately know Him, I will work to put Him first and show them how to do the same. He is the ultimate healer, helper, lover, peace-maker, happiness, hope, light. When you have that going for you and people you know have that going for them, you and they can't go wrong.
So I will say Christ is Christmas.
Because He is first.