When someone says that it’s December—what do you immediately think of? Of course, the first thought that comes to mind for me is, “I can’t believe another year is almost over.” For most, it’s a time to get together with family and celebrate Christmas. Your relatives may not live in the same city or state, and you travel to spend time with them too.
The holidays can be joyful, or they can be frustrating and stressful. As wives and mothers, our tasks seem to multiply during this time. We spend time decorating our homes for the occasion.
We plan festive parties. It seems as though every night is taken up with an activity.
In the midst of the celebration, I think we sometimes forget what Christmas is all about — celebrating the birth of our Savior.
We spend more time trying to find the requested Christmas gifts for our children and grandchildren than we spend teaching them about the true meaning of Christmas.
When I was 5 years of age, my Aunt Oma took time out of her busy schedule during the holiday season to help me memorize the Christmas story from the Word of God. She never had children of her own but loved to teach youngsters. About a month before Christmas she said, “Lynette, you’ve got to go home with me so I can teach you the Christmas story.”
There were times I didn’t want to go with her. I would have preferred to play, but my aunt was persistent. She did not take no for an answer. It was very important to her that children planted God’s Word in their hearts at a young age. So I went to her house and learned the Christmas story. That year at church, I recited by memory the entire Christmas story to the congregation. The people were amazed, and my aunt was so proud of me.
I am very grateful that my aunt took the time to teach me the Christmas story. It has always kept my focus on what Christmas is all about. It’s not about how much we can give each other—although I enjoy giving gifts to my family members. It is about celebrating the birth of our Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ. It is about being grateful that God sent His very best gift to redeem mankind.
Statistics have proven that Christmas time is one of the highest times that suicides are committed. It is a time when those without families yearn for the fellowship of a loved one. For those who have lost a loved one—it is a time that you miss your loved one and the times you have shared with them over the years.
I want to encourage you this year to get involved in giving to someone who is in need. Find a needy family and adopt them as your project for Christmas. Get your children involved by having them use their own money to buy a gift for those who are less fortunate than they are.
Over the years, we have blessed families during the holiday season, and it is rewarding to see how grateful they are to be remembered at this time of the year. I’m reminded of Acts 20:35 (NKJV) which says, “It is more blessed to give than to receive.”
It truly is rewarding to see a smile come to the face of a child who has not enjoyed the basic needs of life.
Focus on the joy of giving rather than receiving. Don’t be so concerned about your packages being wrapped perfectly. I always spent hours wrapping my packages. I would be worn out and stressed out.
One year we were without electricity during the holidays. Our lights had been off for two days, and I had to wrap my packages with a flashlight. That year I decided all I was going to do was wrap them with paper. I dispensed with the fancy ribbon and bows for the sake of time. My stress was relieved so much that I have not used ribbon and bows since then. It made me realize I was being stressed and worn out by something unimportant.
This Christmas season, I encourage you to focus on the important things. Focus on the good memories you and your family will share together. Focus on giving to those in need, and most of all, focus on being thankful for the Lord Jesus Christ Who came into this world to be our Redeemer.
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