As you go about your crazy, chaotic days of wrapping packages, baking cookies, volunteering at local events and decorating, please take time each day through the advent season to remember that as Christians we are to take this time of year to celebrate The Greatest Gift ever given…eternal life through forgiveness and sacrifice.
Our Heavenly Father gave us His only Son so that we may have eternal life but also that we might have life abundantly. That doesn’t mean abundant life thru packages, toys and prepaid gift cards mind you; that means abundant life thru the discernment, joy and peace He offers that no one and no other thing can. But during the Christmas holiday there are times we all forget this. We tend to forget that the birth of Jesus Christ that we have celebrated for so very long is not about the mad dash on Christmas Eve to get whatever gift we can scrounge up at our local pharmacy. It’s not about whether or not something has been ‘regifted’ vs. brand new; it’s not about if something is wrapped just right or worth a particular dollar amount. It’s about love, giving, grace and family…the family of God.
So in this amazing time of year when so many people set aside their harshness and don a silly set of reindeer ears or a Santa hat to have some fun with family and friends, I encourage you to take every gift you give and attach a piece of paper or a card to it that reminds the recipient that this IS the season we choose to celebrate the birth of our Savior, The Messiah. I encourage you to take a deep breath, put down the sugar cookies for a moment and share some inspirational messages on those notes and packages. I hope the following helps:
Christmas waves a magic wand over this world, and behold, everything is softer and more beautiful. ~ Norman Vincent Peale
Therefore the Lord himself will give youa sign: The virginwill conceive and give birth to a son, andwill call him Immanuel. Isaiah 7:14
Fail not to call to mind, in the course of the twenty-fifth of this month, that the Divinest Heart that ever walked the earth was born on that day; and then smile and enjoy yourselves for the rest of it; for mirth is also of Heaven's making. ~ Leigh Hunt
And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with fear. And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of a great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger. Luke 2:9-12
Christmas is the gentlest, loveliest festival of the revolving year - and yet, for all that, when it speaks, its voice has strong authority. ~ W.J. Cameron
The best of all gifts around any Christmas tree: the presence of a happy family all wrapped up in each other. ~Burton Hillis
And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, (14) “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!” “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased! Luke 2:13-14
For the spirit of Christmas fulfils the greatest hunger of mankind. ~ Loring A. Schuler
Instead of being a time of unusual behavior, Christmas is perhaps the only time in the year when people can obey their natural impulses and express their true sentiments without feeling self-conscious and, perhaps, foolish. Christmas, in short, is about the only chance a man has to be himself. ~ Francis C. Farley
When we recall Christmas past, we usually find that the simplest things - not the great occasions - give off the greatest glow of happiness. ~ Bob Hope
In the old days, it was not called the Holiday Season; the Christians called it 'Christmas' and went to church; the Jews called it 'Hanukkah' and went to synagogue; the atheists went to parties and drank. People passing each other on the street would say 'Merry Christmas!' or 'Happy Hanukkah!' or (to the atheists) 'Look out for the wall!' ~ Dave Barry, "Christmas Shopping: A Survivor's Guide"
The Church does not superstitiously observe days, merely as days, but as memorials of important facts. Christmas might be kept as well upon one day of the year as another; but there should be a stated day for commemorating the birth of our Saviour, because there is danger that what may be done on any day, will be neglected. ~ Samuel Johnson