Excitement fills the air this time of year. We are less than a week from Christmas day! You are probably finished with most of the hustle and bustle of decorating, shopping, baking, planning, etc. Now, anticipation builds as we are moving closer and closer to the big day.
I’m usually not that excited for Christmas day; I tend to look more forward to Christmas Eve. The Christmas Eve candlelight service is my favorite church service of the year. The church is always packed with people, and there’s a unique energy in the air. Singing Silent Night in the candlelight with a few hundred other people will forever move me emotionally. Christmas Eve doesn’t carry the craziness of Christmas day with it, at least not for me. It gets to be a peaceful time where I can reflect on what Christmas is all about.
This year is different though; I’m beyond excited for Christmas morning. This will be the first Christmas that Ali and I get to spend together. We have been trying to decide on exactly how we want the day to go because we will only ever get to have one first Christmas together. We have the opportunity to create traditions that we will eventually pass down to our kids. It’s fun to think about the fact that we get to celebrate Christmas together for the rest of our lives. I already know that it’s going to be one of the best days of my life.
One of the reasons that I used to not look forward to Christmas is because it always seemed to be anticlimactic. You spend a significant amount of time, money, and effort into making everything perfect for that day and it’s finished before you know it. Then, when the clock strikes midnight and Christmas is officially over, it’s back to routine life. Almost as if everything that we spent the last month prepping for didn’t matter. The Christmas spirit gets packed away with the rest of the decorations, not to be seen again until after Thanksgiving. That little extra joy and cheer that everyone seems to have during December vanishes like a vapor. The few days after Christmas has always left me a little disheartened.
We need to focus on what Christmas means, all year round. Christmas is so much more than just a baby being born in a manger. We tend to separate Christmas from Easter as if those two days have nothing to do with each other, besides a spike in church attendance. Linus explains to us what the meaning of Christmas is in A Charlie Brown Christmas, “For behold, I bring unto you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the City of David a savior, which is Christ the Lord.” That can also be found in Luke 2:10-11. That precious baby was born to go to the cross.
Christmas is all about God sending His perfect son into the world so that we can have salvation. If that is the “good tidings of great joy,” then why do we only seem to be joyful around the holidays? We should be celebrating Christ’s birth, death, and resurrection every day of our lives. We should always be walking around with that extra pep in our step and joy in our hearts. We need to be different than the rest of the world. Our Christmas cheer shouldn’t die when we put the tree away; it should be the state that we operate in at all times.
Life will happen, and there will be things that will try to suck the joy out of our lives. I’m confident that we all know how that feels. It’s in those times that we have to return to where our joy is rooted. While there are many things in this world that will bring us joy, they cannot be the source of it. Everything in this world will eventually fall away, but we need to place our joy in what will never “perish, spoil, or fade.” (1 Peter 4) We must plant our joy in God’s love! He demonstrated that love by sending His son to die for us which all started on that first Christmas morning nearly 2,000 years ago.
Don’t let the excitement and joy of this season die on Dec. 26th, but instead let it be a springboard into a way of life. The world is in need of joy, and we are called, as God’s people, to spread it. Let’s make 2018 the year that we put God’s joy that lives in us on display for all to see!
I hope that you have enjoyed what you read today and over the past few months. I have loved writing and getting to share my thoughts with you. I would appreciate if you would like, follow, share, or reblog what I’ve written. Thank you for reading; it means the world to me!