This holiday season I have really thought about how much I love and appreciate all the people in my life. I have been truly thankful for the roof over our heads, jobs that pay the bills and reliable vehicles to get us back and forth. We are blessed, God is good!
Those of you who know me well know how much I enjoy encouraging others and giving gifts when I can, which makes Christmas the perfect time of year for me. So while on vacation I was looking for something for my son-in-law and came across a book ‘Celebrating the Christian Year’. Jash loves to read and is truly a Godly man so this could be a nice gift.
Later I sit down to wrapping all the treasure I found for everyone and I found myself picking up the book to wrap and then putting it down to wrap something else over and over. That book is starting to intrigue me, so I start flipping through the pages. I thought wow that’s great to remember this time of year, then put the book down. Then I do it again while wrapping other gifts. Then I thought, hey maybe the book was meant for me. Then the real thought came, NO not for me but for me to share some of these reminders with you.
Since we are in the rush of the holiday season and Christmas is fast approaching, let’s thing about why and what we are doing.
What are Holidays? Well the word “holiday: comes from the phrase “holy days” which means a “special day set apart for a holy purpose.” Holidays are a time to affirm our faith. Through them we communicate what we believe. What a wonderful reason to celebrate and I love to CELEBRATE! Celebration is related to praise, and praise is usually a reason for celebrations.
We put up the Christmas tree. What does the tree mean to you? They have been decorated for years to honor god. Why do you decorate yours? As it stands in your home let it be a symbol of the Tree of Life and remind us that our Lord is the Light of the world. The evergreen tree is and ancient symbol of eternity. Let the lights remind you about the Light that came into a dark world. Let’s hang ornaments that tell the Christmas story; bells, angels, hearts, candy canes, doves and candles. Top the tree with a star. “Where is the baby born to be King of the Jews? We saw the star when it came up in the east and have come to worship him.”
Christmas cards. In the middle of the 19th century, people in Britain began mailing good wishes and Christmas greeting to relatives and friend they were personally made. I love this tradition, it’s such a personal touch to the holidays. I hope we don’t let it become obsolete with the advances in technology and social media.
Candy Canes: A classic favorite, did you know the candy cane has special mean to remind us of Christmas. The candy cane is made in the shape of a shepherd’s staff. When Christ was born, being a Shepard was a common occupation. Each of them carried a staff, when one of their little lambs became entangled in the brush or trapped in the rocks they could reach down with the staff and free the helpless animal. Just as the shepherds used the staff to save their lambs, Christ, Our Shepherd saves us from our sin. The white of the candy cane signifies the purity of Christ. The red stripes signify Christ’s blood, which he freely shed for us.
December 24th CHRISTMAS EVE: Christmas Eve begins when someone sees the first star in the sky. Go out and look up remember the first holy night. Be reminded of the “special star” that announced the birth of the King so many years ago.
Then before we know it it’s CHRISTMAS MORNING! The timing is important, who celebrates a birth, before the child arrives? BUT after the birth, WOW WHAT A CELEBRATION! Baby Jesus is born, Baby Jesus is born” That’s what Christmas is about… It’s about find Jesus. How you chose to unwrap God’s Gift is up to you!
For me it is worth the wait and all the preparation. The real meaning of Giving gifts; is so we remember God’s incredible gift of his Son.
Christmas was established to celebrate the ‘Incarnation” God becoming human in order to be at one with us. Emmanuel means “God is with us.” The WORD became a human being and lives among us. Think about it… He is with us and became ONE OF US!
He identified completely with us!
Since God powerfully communicated his love through his actions, this is a time to reexamine how God’s love is real in your life.
I am glad I peeked through the pages about Christmas. In the end Jash still get the book with several other items I know he will enjoy and I am such with his compassionate heart he will be glad I shared some of the inserts from the book I know he will enjoy.