This Christmas season is already hectic, and if I’m being honest it was hectic long before Thanksgiving. I work for an e-commerce company, and I am constantly pushing people to buy more, convince people that they need some new product, and pouring out the “best” holiday deals out there. It’s not that I’m saying you shouldn’t take advantage of the great bargains out there, or splurge a little to surprise your loved ones. I’m just honestly admitting to myself (and anyone reading this) that the struggle to remember the true meaning of Christmas is real, maybe more real than ever.
This year I wanted to take time to remember Christ. So I planned a night out with a few of my closest co-workers and we brainstormed ways to remind ourselves, and each other, what this season is all about. I hope you enjoy a few of my favorite comments from my friends, as well as the prints that you can download and hang in your home to help you remember Christ this year!
LAUREN C. | age 30
“I've always been more of an Easter girl, focusing more celebration in the redemption and the life that came through Jesus' death than blowing out candles on a birthday cake. Not that his birth isn't just as important, but I've just never been as pumped about it. After all, it's his death and his resurrection that makes Him different. But, lately I've been thinking about it, thinking about the hope it brought, the peace He came with, the story of His father's ever-lasting love He was going to tell. And yeah, His death made Him different, but...so did his birth.
These lyrics from "O Holy Night" ring so true today:
‘Long lay the world in sin and error pining. Till he appeared and the spirit felt its worth. A thrill of hope the weary world rejoices, for yonder breaks a new and glorious morn.’
A thrill of hope, indeed. A thrill of hope in something other than ourselves and this ugly world around us. The hope of a Savior. The hope of redemption.”
SARAH | age 26
“Christmas is a season that can so easily turn into a stressful and materialistic holiday all about trees, decorating your house (inside and outside), buying presents, deciding what to put on your personal "gift wish list," and (depending on your job) selling as much stuff (boots in my case) as you can! Don't get me wrong—I LOVE Christmas...this time of the year is my absolute favorite! I love decorating, shopping for gifts, and listening to some holiday tunes while I'm at it. But as magical as this season is, it can be so easy to lose the real meaning of it, of Christ, in all the holiday stuff. I tend to go back to the Gospels during the Christmas season in my quiet times, and re-read the stories of Jesus—not only of His birth, but also His time here. God's intense love for us is amazing, and as believers we're called to share that with other people! So whether it's volunteering at a soup kitchen, getting a gift for your local "Angel Tree" program, or something else in your community, there are lots of opportunities during this season (and throughout the year) to share that love and give back.”
MEG B | age 25
"Working in a busy e-comm world during the holiday season can easily make you lose sight of what Christmas is truly about. We get so consumed with the stress of buying gifts, decorations, parties, etc. and we forget to pay attention to the blessings in our lives. Every day I try to discover a gift that the Lord has given me. Whether it is something as simple as a great conversation with a co-worker, or as big as finding out I'm going to have a baby boy, the Lord is in every detail of our lives, and it is important to acknowledge and praise Him for his provision. Christ is the only eternal gift of Christmas."
PRECIOUS B. | age 25
When I asked my friend Precious, this is the first response I got: “I love Jesus and Christmas. But Jesus comes first.”
I had a good laugh, and then she gave me this real answer:
“It's so easy to get wrapped up in the thrill of Christmas. We have conformed to the idea that Christmas is a time for giving presents, stuffing our tummies with delicious holiday foods and adorning our homes with festive trimmings. I plan to teach my family the true meaning of Christmas and the greatest gift of all, the birth of our Savior. When I have children I want them to understand that Christmas is not just about the presents and parties. We should celebrate an amazing God every day, and his Son who loved us to sacrifice his own life.”
Hearing their stories was just a small reminder of how I need to spend this Christmas season. But this isn’t where it stops. It’s time to start my own family traditions, beginning with the Gospel and the real gift of Christmas: the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ.