The Tea With Bailey: Keeping Christ in Christmas is Vitally Important This Holiday Season
Christmas is truly the most wonderful time of the year. The Christmas music sending joyful memories throughout the home, the smell (and taste!) of hot cocoa and sugar cookies, the sight of the tree and the warmth of the crackling fire bring back the best of childhood memories and a promise of new, wonderful memories to be made.
I love everything about Christmas. I love finding a home for each ornament on the tree, watching the snow fall from my living room window (Colorado life) and watching my favorite Christmas movies with my family.
Christmas is a time of year when we are swept up in a tinsel-filled whirlwind of decorations, special traditions, yule tide joy and baking, baking and more baking.
While Christmas transports us back to our childhood and reminds us of happy memories, there is a greater reason we celebrate this amazing holiday. No, it is not just because of the decorations and the presents and the food and the music – though all of those are amazing – but it is because the reason this holiday exists in the first place.
Christmas – as all Christians know – is a celebration of the birth of Jesus, God’s perfect son, who came to earth to redeem the fallen human race. Christmas is a joyful holiday because it is a reminder to Christians that the creator of the universe loved them so much he sent his son as a ransom to all who would accept his gift.
Giving presents on Christmas day is a beautiful symbol of what God did for us. We give because he gave us hope and light and love when he sent his son to us. There is not a more beautiful gift than that!
Christmas is also a picture of grace. It was by God’s grace he sent his son to earth to live and to die in order to ransom the human race – who God loves so much. Grace is not giving us what we deserve – death – to instead give us a beautiful hope that when we leave this earth we will be reunited in heaven if we accept Jesus into our hearts.
Let us not get so swept up in the traditions and the holiday pomp and circumstance that we forget why we celebrate Christmas. Why we have the hope of heaven and the sacrifice God made for us when he sent his son to be born in a manger for you and for me.
There are many intentional ways we can keep Christ in Christmas this holiday season. Reading the Christmas story together is one that my family always does on Christmas Eve. Taking a moment to just sit, read and reflect on the beautiful gift of Jesus is one of the best ways to keep a Christmas perspective before the craziness and fun of Christmas day.
Another way, taken from an article on Learn Religions, is to give a gift to God by doing something to grow our relationship with him. This could be something as simple as forgiving someone we haven’t forgiven, telling a relative about Jesus or rededicating our lives to following God’s plan for our life. We can also use this as an opportunity to serve others as Christ served us when we were so in need.
So enjoy your Christmas music, decorating, gift buying and baking, but don’t forget to take a few moments during this season to reflect on what Christmas is really about. Keeping Jesus in our Christmas celebrations is a great way to show our thankfulness to God for his gift to us thousands of years ago that continues to radically change lives today.
Bailey Duran is the Opinion Editor. Follow her on Twitter at @duran_bailey.