Happy Christmas everyone! This year's Christmas has been an especially good one. As I get older, Christmas is not quite the same, yet there is something nice about that. When I was little, there would be so many presents that we'd take hours to open them and then my parents would have to rush off to make Christmas dinner. This year after unwrapping, we were able to just sit and relax for a little while. I felt a sigh of relief and joy just to enjoy the silent company of my family. Traditions were broken this Christmas, but it was not as wretched as I had assumed it would be. Different, but not bad. I think that is part of what makes Christmas so special. Every year it is different, but somehow being able to celebrate Christmas brings a sort of stability to life. To think that no matter what else is happening, on this one day I am celebrating with all of my brothers and sisters around the world. Everyone may celebrate in their own way, but on this same day (albeit in different time zones)we are all celebrating the birth of our Lord and Savior.
To celebrate this day, I wanted to list some of my most favorite things about Christmastime.
1. Obviously, Christ's birth. I have celebrated Christmas before with barely any mention of Christ. Yet when I celebrate Christmas keeping Jesus as the focus, I feel a deeper joy in Christmas. There's a sense of wholeness, of rightness. A baby changes everything, and Christ was the baby that changed the world.
2. My family. We have many traditions, but my favorite are the ones that revolve around each other. Like how we watch each other open gifts. It is so fun to see everyone's reactions and for a couple minutes to focus on each other. I also love Christmas family dinners. There's no ceremony, no propriety, no stiffness. It's just us (but with fancier food and dishes).
3. Snow. It just gets me in the spirit of Christmas. And this year we had a White Christmas!
4. Decorations. Same thing as the snow. I love what the decorations symbolize, especially the manger scenes and the lights.
5. Gift giving. I love to imagine the reactions as I plan gifts for people, and then I love to watch the reactions on Christmas morning.
6. Gift getting. Who doesn't love this part? But I think it's not just getting a gift, but knowing they took the time to pick out something you'll like; knowing that they were thinking about you. I think that's what makes gifts so special. And that's what made God's gift of His Son so special, because He was thinking about us because He loved us.
Merry Christmas my friends. May it be joyous.