Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Jesus is the Reason for the season

The Christmas holiday season (November 1 - January 2)  is my favorite time of year. All the holly, jolly goodness that gets spread around warms my soul. The decorations, the music, the smiles on people's faces, the shopping, the cooking and of course, the wonderful gifts (given and received) bring joy to my heart. People look forward to spending time with family, traveling, eating, drinking and having a merry good time. However, what often gets lost, overlooked and ignored is the true meaning of Christmas. Then there are those who don't even know why the holiday is celebrated but they celebrate anyway. Some children are brought up in families where Christmas is a day of the year on which they get to wake up and receive beautifully wrapped presents, for no pparticular reason. Not much, if anything, is said about the birth of our Lord Jesus, who is the reason for the season.

I believe in Jesus Christ and He is, indeed, the savior of my soul. Growing up, I was always involved in Christmas programs, at church and in school. My maternal grandparents and paternal grandmother provided me with a strong, spiritual foundation. I attended Sunday school, went to church, sang in the choir and recited many a poem and scripture. I learned bible lessons throughout the year, but especially during sacred holidays. Christmas involved the participation in several programs and celebrations where the story of the birth of Jesus Christ was told in various ways. I was taught and have always known that Christmas is the day we celebrate our savior's birth.Yet, when I became head of my own household, His story took a backseat in my holiday celebrations.

Imagine that. It's your birthday yet all of your guests receive gifts and party while you are left sitting in a back room. Or worse, you're not invited to the party at all. 

Christmas is a day to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ, a son God sent to atone for our sins. He performed miracles that provided healing and relief to people. He used his life for the betterment of the poor and less fortunate. Jesus Christ was a perfect, shining example humanity. This holiday is not only meant to commemorate Jesus' birth but, also to remind and  inspire us to be more 'Christ-like' in our ways. It serves as a reminder to be thankful and grateful for who we are and what we have; to be stewards of love, kindness, compassion and understanding....not just on Christmas day but all year round. The Christmas season is a time to give more of one's self for the happiness & benefit of others. It's a period when offerings of service, skills and time are just as (if not more than) appreciated as material gifts. There are many people who will be alone at Christmas; families whose homes are not adorned with beautiful decorations and sparkling Christmas trees; parents who can't afford to buy their children gifts or even a holiday meal; men, women and children who don't have a place to call home. So, as you indulge, enjoy and partake of all the wonderful things you have been blessed with this Christmas season, please remember those less fortunate. Please share your bounty and give of yourself and your time. Pass on the story of Jesus Christ to your children and fellow man; teach them that the spirit of the season is to not only count your blessings but to be a blessing. Remind them to wish the savior a Happy Birthday, in deed and word. Celebrate Christmas in a new way this year; invite Jesus into your heart and home. It is then that you will receive perfect love, joy and peace that only He can provide, the kind that will sustain you, on Christmas day and all the days of your life.