Childhood Christmas memories flood my mind.
The clown cookie tin made from a coffee can by my great aunt.
Stringing popcorn garland for the tree at church.
Making an apple pie that had a “blow out patch” on top.
Sampling red and green candy from the gum drop tree as I tried to decide which was my favorite – cinnamon or spearmint.
The year I got a stereo complete with 8-track and turntable. (I was VERY young at the time!)
As I reflect on my childhood memories, there’s a glaring omission… Jesus! Although I’ve attended church all of my life and I celebrate the birth of Jesus every year, my young memories of Christmas revolve around worldly things – the gifts, the treats, the baking, and decorating. I have very fond memories but am a little saddened to see that too often Jesus was crowded out of the picture. Oh, He wasn’t completely forgotten – we read the Christmas story, sang Silent Night at the candlelight service, and went to the Christmas program at church – but He wasn’t the main attraction.
In recent years, I’ve done a better job of readjusting my focus, but still fall woefully short at times. I find myself wondering how God could give us the greatest Christmas gift ever, yet we set it aside often unnoticed and untouched. As a reminder to us and our kids, each year we wrap the Baby Jesus from our nativity set. On the gift tag, I write, “To: The Shufflebargers, Love, God.” We save it for last in hopes that after all the gifts are exchanged, we remember that Jesus is a gift and the real reason for our celebration.
I pray that this year, you’ll accept that gift and treasure it… savor it… delight in it all year long. He truly is the best Christmas present we’ll ever receive. Merry Christmas!
Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. Luke 2:11