A few years ago, I hosted a cool Christmas Bible study in my home called “Unplug the Christmas Machine” by Jo Robinson & Jean Staeheli.
We started it at the beginning of November and met for 6 weeks. I remember how much that study changed my normal Christmas trends and frenzy.
My personal relationship with Jesus Christ started on June 9, 1984.
Before that summer, although I always knew “Jesus was born in a manger” on Christmas Day, in my mind the actual holiday had pretty much always been about Santa and gifts.
Either having him visit ME as a child, or having him visit MY children!! It was always a magical and fun celebration but created lots of stress and financial pressure.
Once the reality of the birth of Christ, in the world and in Me, actually began to come alive in my life, I began to see Christmas differently. Unfortunately, my Christmas habits remained the same. I continued to do what I had always done. Shop, decorate, cook, entertain, be entertained, Shop, rush around, charge things I couldn’t afford………
After I completed that study and began to really evaluate the way I was celebrating Christmas, I slowly started to make some changes in my celebration rituals. Changes that I am still working out today.
I still love to decorate my home for the holidays. I love to shop for my family and I love to cook special holiday meals and goodies. But my HEART has changed. I am no longer running on the “Christmas Machine”. I am not frazzeled and I do not spend money that I do not have. I try to bless people that NO ONE but Jesus knows about.
My Christmas wish is to celebrate the birth of Christ in my life and the lives of my family and friends.
My Christmas wish is to overflow that celebration in some small way upon those around me.
My Christmas wish is to honor Him and to keep Him the center of my heart at Christmas just like I do on December 26, 27, 28……
My Christmas wish is to somehow reflect my love and gratitude for the constant presence of Jesus in my life, in my home and in my heart.
I wish the same for you as you celebrate the birth of Jesus, King of Kings and Lord of Lords.
The best of all gifts around any Christmas tree: the presence of a happy family all wrapped up in each other. -Burton Hillis
I would add to Burton’s words…”and in the one and only gift that matters”.