What Does Christmas Mean To You?
What do you think of when you hear the word “Christmas”? Do you think of time with family or presents under the tree? Does it make you anxious or joyful? Are you reminded of why we celebrate this special day of the year?
Christmas used to be a time of stress for me. I would run around for a month trying to make it perfect, only to feel disappointment. Even after the tree was trimmed, the cookies were baked, and presents lay under the tree, I still felt like something was missing. It wasn’t until just a few years ago that I realized what was wrong. It was my heart. I was focusing on all the things of Christmas without focusing on the WHO of CHRISTmas.
Don’t get me wrong, we sang Christmas carols, put the manger on the piano, and sang “Happy Birthday” to Jesus every Christmas morning, but Jesus was not the focus of our celebration and we had to change that.
Now the entire month of December is spent with our eyes on Him. We have created new traditions that keep Jesus the focal point of Christmas. I think my favorite new tradition is our Jesse Tree Project. We take 10 to 15 minutes a day learning about the lineage of our Savior. It keeps our attention on Him as we place the special ornaments on the tree. As we look at the tree we are reminded of the sacrifice our Heavenly Father made in order to give us a way of salvation.
During family devotions in December, we have chosen to do an Advent study. During this time we concentrate on Christ and how His obedience changed our world forever. We also talk about how much people looked forward to His coming much like we look forward to His second coming. They didn’t know when the promise would be fulfilled, but they knew it would be. They had faith that God would do what He said, just like we trust in Him to return and take those who believe to live with Him forever.
We still carry on our old traditions, but now they mean so much more. As we sing carols, the words come to life. “Silent Night” brings tears to our eyes as we picture this little baby in the arms of His earthly parents. “Away in a Manger” reminds us of His humble beginning. When we bake cookies, we pray over them and hope that they are a blessing to those we give them to. On Christmas morning, we sing to our Lord and thank Him for all He has done for us.
Christmas is no longer just about the lights, decorations, tree, presents, cookies, and the hustle and bustle of the season. I am no longer stressing over this wonderful holiday. Turning our hearts towards Christ makes it a time of wonder and celebration! It brings true joy and peace.
So, I ask, what does Christmas mean to you? Do you need to make some changes also? Is Christ the focal point of your celebration or has He gotten lost somewhere along the way? I encourage you to sit down and pray about how you can put Christ back into Christmas.
My name is Betty Daley. I am a wife, mother, and homeschooling teacher. I have been married to my high school sweetheart for 24 years and we have six children. I have been homeschooling for 20 years. Our older three have graduated The Daley Academy, and we continue to homeschool our younger three. We love sharing about our homeschooling adventures. Our family motto is “Do all to the glory of God”. We pray that we can encourage others as we give you a look into our lives. https://letsgetreal2016.blogspot.com/