I love the Christmas season. I enjoy the family closeness, the busyness, preparing/finding gifts for people on our lists. I enjoy the baking and music, the tree decorating, and being warm inside while a snowstorm whirls outside. I enjoy the extra time spent focused on relationships. I like being thankful together, and celebrating the birth of Christ.
I have lots of fond memories of Christmas growing up. The excitement and anticipation, as us kids waited for Christmas to arrive. Picking out gifts for Toys for Tots or like ministries. Participating in Christmas pageants, sometimes seeing relatives, decorating sugar cookies with mom. Going to pick out a Christmas tree, and cutting it down. I remember one particular place that gave sleigh rides and free hot chocolate and candy canes. I remember enjoying the time of Dad off work, and everyone just being home together.
There was a phase in my teen years when I wasn’t so fond of Christmas. Several of my friends didn’t celebrate it, and I was convinced my family was pagan to do so. My family (thankfully!) wasn’t interested in listening to me, and felt like Christmas was an excellent time to reach out into your neighborhood and community. Regardless of roots and when Jesus’ birthday actually is, even non-Christians associate Christmas with the birth of Christ. So to not celebrate would err on the atheism side, in the eyes of others. I’m thankful that I moved out of that rut (and lots of other legalism ruts I fell into) and get to enjoy Christmas once again- memories, family time, lights, music, and the other wonderful things that go with it…. And now, I get to share it with a husband and daughter!
May you have a wonderful Christmas, celebrating the birth of Christ, the love of God, and the specialness of family and friends! I know I will be, with all my favorite people!