I am all ready for Christmas! For our cultural definition of Christmas I am at least. The lights and the decorations are all up (I am responsible for the outside decorations, though this year I needed Deann’s help on some of them). All my shopping is done (of course, I only buy for Deann as she does the rest). I may still have to address some Christmas card envelopes, but that is about it. Otherwise, I am all ready! In the minds of many, when the decorations are up, the gifts are bought, the Christmas cards sent, the candy and baking is done–it is then that we are ready for Christmas. But is that really the case?
For us as Christians, the definition of being ready for Christmas is much different. Preparing for Christmas is more about working on our hearts than our decorations, more about getting our mind ready than our house, more about opening our lives than our wallets. That is one reason I so appreciate our congregation’s presentation of Bethlehem Live–it serves as a way to remind people of the reason we celebrate Christmas. Other ways we do that is by making worship on the Sundays during Advent a priority as well as planning to be part of worship on Christmas Eve. Another way that I seek to prepare my heart and mind for Christmas is by following a devotional each day that looks at the different aspects of the Christmas story and how it really is good news for us today.
This does not mean that I don’t enjoy the secular parts of Christmas–I do! I am also very glad to have the outside decorations done and my very limited amount of Christmas shopping done. But I need reminders that there is more to Christmas than trees and presents and lights and parties. I need reminders that Christmas is really about the birth of a savior who not only changed the world but my life. Maybe you do too.
Merry Christmas to you and your loved ones!