By Contributing Writer, Chelsey Hall
Last year, Christmas day left my heart a little sad.
All month long we, as a family, had been very intentional about focusing on what this time was set aside for…. a remembrance of the birth of Christ… the prophesies, the fulfillment, and what is yet to come.
Each night, we had a time of family devotions where we lit candles that reminded us of the promises, hope, love and light of Jesus Christ. We read passages from Scripture that helped us to focus on the gift of the Savior, his legacy, his lineage, HIS story. We hung an ornament each night on our Jesse Tree that would remind us of what we talked about. We sang joyfully, to the Father, songs and carols of joy reiterating the celebration of the season.
We purposed in our hearts and minds that our activities would be Christ focused and the perversions of this time of celebration by worldly traditions of Santa, stockings and the focus of “I want, I want” would have no place in our home.
We stopped to ponder this year… what does Jesus get on his birthday?
Instead of gifts under the tree, focused on one another, we gave to HIM. Together we chose rabbits, chickens, water filters, cows and musical instruments for worship. We gave to Jesus by giving to “the least of these”. We celebrated HIS birthday with sacrificial giving. Even the children gave their precious dollars to reach a people for Christ.
So why the sadness?
Christmas day was celebrated with family at my father’s home. What I saw that morning was far from what we had worked so hard to focus on. While there was MUCH love, fun and even warmth, the REAL meaning, the true focus… seemed lost in the unwrapping, the gifts, the chaos. The day should have been the culmination of a month spent in anticipation; wondering and weaving our way through the history, stories, prophesies, the roots of the one who would come to save our very souls.
But it wasn’t. And it hurt.
But we learned. And there was grace.
For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given: and the government shall be upon His shoulder: and His name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The Mighty God, The Everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. Isaiah 9:6
As the old Christmas carol says… it IS The Most Wonderful Time of the Year. But it isn’t because of the “parties for hosting, marshmallows for toasting, or caroling out in the snow” as the song touts in all it’s merriment. Rather, it is because we take a few moments out of the hustle and bustle of life to celebrate and remember the birth of the one who gave HIS life so that we would live for EVER with the Father in glory.
In a way, I’m grateful that we walked through that, because it just solidified and renewed the vision of what our family REALLY wants this time of year to be.
All. About. Him.