There are many lies that the world tells us this time of year. Every December, the lies show up in our music, our movies, our homes, and our minds. There are two that I’m about to focus on, and one of them may just surprise you.
Lie #1: Christmas is about getting what you want.
We hear this every year, and at this point we have closed our ears to it because we’ve heard the message so many times before. In doing so, however, we do run the risk of forgetting the incredibly important fact that this is dead wrong. Christmas is not about getting what we want. Christmas is not about making a list and hoping for somebody to get you every single thing on it. Christmas is not about going to Christmas parties and playing secret santa. It isn’t about having trouble sleeping because you’re dying to know what your girlfriend, boyfriend, wife, or husband is getting you. It isn’t about eating delicious food and unwrapping gifts on Christmas morning. These things are all fine, and they are all fun and wonderful parts of the holidays. But this should not be our main focus. This should not be the thing we look forward to the most about December.
Lie #2: Christmas is about giving.
This one is the shocker. This is the one that everyone is scratching their heads over. We are told every single year in our cheesy Hallmark movies that this is the real meaning of Christmas. We teach this lie to our children. We convince ourselves that it is truth. We tell ourselves that if we drop a few dollars in the Salvation Army bucket or if we give food and clothing to the homeless that we truly understand Christmas. But this is, once again, completely untrue. Giving is not the reason we celebrate this holiday. Giving to others should be something we do on a regular basis. It should be something that happens in our lives more than one week out of the year. People are in need all around us every single day and we only open our eyes to it this time of year because that is what has become the cultural norm. But this should not be. We should make giving to others an important part of our lives all of the time. We are all blessed beyond what we could possibly imagine, and we should be ashamed to not be generous with what we have been so graciously given.
So what is Christmas about then? If it isn’t about getting, and it isn’t about giving, then what is there left?
I stated earlier that Christmas is not about getting everything that you want. This is still true. But I do believe that Christmas is still about receiving. More specifically, it is about receiving the only gift that really and truly matters to every single person in the world. It is about the gift of eternal life. It is about Jesus Christ.
But don’t, however, make the mistake of thinking that it is only about a small baby who was born in a barn. It is so much more than that. It is about a child who was born by a complete miracle. It is about a king who was brought into the world in the lowest possible way. It is about a child who grew up blamelessly. A child who grew into a man and did no wrong. A perfect man who became a worker of miracles and wonders. A man who chose to not only give up his life, but to have God, his own father, completely turn his face away from him. It is about a man who was physically dead for three entire 24 hour days, yet came back to life, defeated death itself, and showed how much power he truly has. This is what Christmas is about. It is about God giving us the gift of a new beginning. It is God giving us the ability to become a completely new person, a person made perfect, simply by believing that Jesus was who he claimed to be and giving our life to follow him wherever he would lead us. Is it a complete miracle. A beautiful, magnificent miracle. And I pray that we would remember this year that no matter how many amazing gifts we receive, no matter how many wonderful memories we make, and no matter how much we give to those in need, the true purpose of this holiday is to remember the greatest gift we could ever ask or imagine.