HOW OLD WERE YOU? I am not sure exactly when I realized or discovered the true meaning of Christmas. I was not raised in a Christian home and very seldom was I inside a church. Christmas was more about Santa Claus than about Jesus. In our home the focus was on the Christmas tree and the gifts that began to appear under the tree and eventually on Christmas morning at least one major gift appeared for each person. Even though my parents were hard working people I am not sure how they managed that until my two older brothers and I eventually left home to serve in the military. I am sure it was easier for them at that time with the remaining kids at home.
It was only after I accepted Jesus as my Savior at the age of twenty-three that things began to click for me in this area. I admit I am not the brightest person in the world, not even close. And I have to admit that my wife is smarter than me because she knew all these things as a child. God’s Word says, “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord,” (Romans 6:23 NIV). And there it is. Christmas is all about God’s gift to us, the Lord Jesus Christ, and the eternal life that is found in Him. Christmas is not all about our getting gifts or our giving gifts. Christmas is all about Jesus and Him being God’s gift to us. And as we read the bible and the events surrounding His birth and life I am still amazed at how much God loves me and that His Son was willing to die for a sinner like me.
Our family celebrates Christmas each year and we have a tree and decorations and food and gifts but our celebration is different from my childhood. The focus and meaning of our celebration has changed and our children and grandchildren have been taught the true meaning of Christmas from childhood. But I do have a concern at Christmas that not only non-Christians are missing the true meaning of Christmas but many Christians are missing the true meaning as well. We live in a country of wild commercialism and my concern is that we Christians have become too much like the society we live in and we take too little time to reflect on the true meaning of Christmas this time of year. How old were you when you discovered the true meaning of Christmas and how has that changed you and your celebration of Christmas?