"Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord."
With Jesus birth... came the gift of hope.
For me, Christmas as a child was not rooted in the wonderful gift of hope, but rather in shiny decorations of red, gold and green and presents.... lots of presents; at least it seemed as though I couldn't want for anything more. My mother loved Christmas and Santa Claus played a huge role in it. In fact, Christmas was all about Santa.
Torn wrapping paper depicting the jolly old man in the red velvet suite lay all over the living room floor. Squeals of joy bounced around the room as my sisters and I ran to our parents with each new toy in hand. We couldn't wait to show them what Santa had brought for us.
The same familiar Christmas songs played over and over on the turn table. There was no shortage of laughter and good cheer.
Throughout the years, I continued to look forward to the traditions my parents had instilled in me. The smell of turkey roasting in the oven seemed to linger long after Christmas. It was an exciting time. Every December I counted the days from one to twenty-five. They couldn't move fast enough. I remember those years with much fondness.
But it wasn't until I was in my early thirties that I truly understood the meaning of Christmas. God in the flesh. A Savior was born to take away the sin of the world and offer us hope.
Jesus birth is truly a cause for celebration! Like the song says, "It's the most wonderful time of the year." Yet for some people the Christmas season doesn't bring much joy. For some it is filled with painful memories and a lot of hurt.
I too miss some of my childhood traditions. I miss my mother who passed away six years ago and both of my sisters who have moved away from the area we grew up in. My own children have grown up with lives of their own and Christmas is now very different.
All of these changes have been very hard for me. I've had to let go of the old traditions and be open to creating new memories.
Simply show the love of Jesus to others. Give a gift to someone who least expects it. Offer someone a hug. Invite someone to church. Cherish friends and family wherever they are.
Thank God for the gift of his son.