After giving them a confused look, recognition floods my face as my brain scans all of the possible Facebook statuses, pictures, or blog posts they could be referring to. Guilty as charged-- my last blog entry was way too long ago, and I need to update so as to give my friends, family, and potentially strangers new material to discuss with me. Ha! Although, the "personality" test was kind of interesting, wasn't it?
Christmas is quickly approaching. Christmas Eve was always the big day in our family. Family tradition was that we opened all our gifts on Christmas Eve night, after dinner of course. As a child, it was always a painfully long day. I would run over to the tree every few minutes and examine all of my presents for the thousandth time, rearranging them, shaking them, changing my mind about which one I wanted to open first. There was such anticipation in getting to open gifts. I still love it and look forward to it, but somehow, when you get older, a lot of the magic dies. Maybe it's because the "surprise" factor is taken out of it-- nowadays, I know about 90% of the gifts I will be receiving before I open them. So how is that a gift? I mean, it still is, but to me, most of what makes a present exciting is being surprised.
We never believed in Santa. I wasn't one of those kids who had that shocking, devastating moment that I remember when I first realized Santa wasn't real, because to me, he never was. I always knew that my parents bought all my gifts. And I'm glad. Santa is great and all, and I don't mind him, but I'm fairly sure I won't be teaching my kids about him. Presents are a wonderful token of giving, and that's what I want to teach my kids. The importance of a generous heart. Not about some guy with a white beard and a bag of toys who only gives to kids who are nice, and not naughty.
Anyway. Christmas morning in my family was "stocking" time. So you see, the whole 2 days was full of all sorts of presents. Now, it's a bit different. Everyone is married with kids, so our big family celebration this year is going to be on Christmas Eve day. I'm excited about it; I love being with my family. Christmas day, then, will be my parents and I, and we are going to spend the day with a couple of cousins. That should be a nice time, as well!
I love Christmas. I love the holidays, the music, the decorations, the food, and all the excitement that seems to be present in the air. I love all of the hype and the environment and all the stereotypical stuff that most people either dislike in the first place, or eventually get sick of 10 days into December. But to me, it's what makes the holidays so exciting. It adds sparkle and flair, and it puts a smile on my face.
I must admit, though, that this year and even in years past, I haven't been doing the best at remembering the true Reason for the Season. I mean, I know what's it is all about. But I feel as though I haven't placed the amount of importance on it that it warrants. I think that after awhile, it is easy to go through the motions of it and chalk it up as "another year of Christmas," instead of stopping to really focus on the magnitude of what it means for all of us.
What are we celebrating? A birth of Jesus, the One who is our Saviour. Without Jesus and His death on the cross, we end up where we belong-- burning for eternity. His gift of salvation is all we really need in this life, and so often, too many of us try to find happiness in other "gifts." But just like any material gift we will receive this Season, it eventually breaks down, becomes outdated, loses its magic, or gets rusty. Does salvation break down? Does it become outdated, lose its magic, or get rusty? Absolutely not-- it's the one gift that cannot be earned, is not deserved, and should always be shared. You can't give anyone salvation, but you can tell others about how this gift has changed your life.
Anyway, my point is, without Jesus' birth, there would be no ultimate gift. And really, we don't deserve it, anyway. But let's be glad that He was born into this world so that we have hope today.
Love you all, and I hope you have a terrific Christmas with your family and friends.
I'll be back soon!