Every year it comes. No matter who were are, what we believe. Whether we celebrate or not. Whether you know who Jesus is or you don’t. Christmas will come. The world cannot stop it. Some have tried by blocking people from saying, “Merry Christmas,” but that isn’t what the season is about anyway. If no one ever said “Merry Christmas again, it would still come. It would come if there were only one person who believed.
It would come because it’s not about the tree, the tinsel, the presents, the huge meals. It would come if there were no Santa, because he really isn’t the reason that makes Christmas so special. It would come even if you wish it wouldn’t.
Christmas. What is it about this one holiday that makes people so happy or sad? Some people are sadder this season than at any other time I have read. Some people love Christmas and everything about it and there are even Facebook pages celebrating the day where people talk all year about it and can’t wait for it to come again. It’s just one day, but it feels different for some reason. It’s a day like no other. No holiday is more cherished than Christmas. No holiday has evoked so many memories, good or bad for millions of people.
Just what is it about Christmas that causes some people to pine for it and some people to dread it?
I know when I was growing up Christmas was a feeling that started for me right after Thanksgiving after we had spent that holiday at my aunt’s house with all my brothers and my sister and cousins. We would watch the Macy’s parade on tv and when Santa Claus would appear we knew Christmas season had begun. Then it became a time when my mother would begin her candy making and cookie baking. My mother sewed red flannel stockings for her Sunday School class and filled them with all the good things she had made topped off by a gingerbread man with raisin eyes and buttons and with icing piped all around the edges. I remember helping her put on the raisin eyes and buttons and how all the gingerbread men looked all lined up on the kitchen counter. The children loved getting their stockings.
There was shopping in the city. Going to a store called Veaches where their whole basement floor was filled with toys of all kinds. Trains and dolls and games and bicycles. One year I looked at a blue Schwin bicycle and wished with all my might that Santa would bring me one just like it. My baby brother and I would walk around with our eyes aglow seeing all the wonderful things that we could only imagine having.
At church we began to sing all the Christmas carols. “O Come All Ye Faithful,” Silent Night,”
“Joy to the World,” “O Little Town of Bethlehem.” I loved those carols and still do to this day as they tell about the birth of the Savior on Christmas Day.
There was excitement at school as we practiced for the Christmas program. Our music teacher would take a classroom of children, most with little talent, and turn us into little performers for our parents’ delight. Christmas trees were in every room. Every class had a party. My mother was room mother one year and she brought little Spritz Christmas trees made with her cookie press and squares of ice cream. We had drawn names for gifts and one year I got a Raggedy Ann book and one year a necklace. It was all so much fun. The excitement was palpable as we children could hardly contain ourselves waiting for the “Day.” I don’t know how the teacher got any teaching done that last day of school before the holidays and when the final bell rang we children ran out to the buses or to walk home with smiles on our faces shouting, “Merry Christmas!” to one another.
The days before Christmas were busy with wrapping presents, baking cookies, making popcorn balls and playing board games like Monopoly. Some of our Monopoly games would go on for days. We’d attend the Christmas program at church where the children would sing and the choir would sing and there was a wonderful, warm feeling as I sat there with my parents and heard the old, old story once again how a virgin became pregnant with God’s only Son who was born in the tiny town of Bethlehem. How there was no room at the inn for the new family so they had to bunk down in a stable with all the animals. How the shepherds heard the angels, singing God’s praises, on the hills where they were guarding the sheep. How the three Wise Men came with their precious gift of gold, frankincense and myrrh, gifts fit for a king because Jesus was a king. I would listen in awe and wonder why God would send His Son down just for us. I didn’t understand the full story for a while. All I knew was that it was special and Christmas was special because of this story.
So as we sit here on Christmas Eve waiting for yet another Christmas, my only hope and prayer is that more and more people will learn and understand just why Christmas is such a special time. It was a time when God came down. That God who loves us all so much He gave His only Son, that whosoever believes in Him will not perish, but have everlasting life. John 3:16.
I don’t know how you are spending Christmas. I don’t know how you feel about Christmas. All I know is Jesus is for everyone. Every single person reading this. Every single person in the world, no matter what religion or race. This Christmas, if you haven’t already, make room in your heart for Him. Make your heart the inn this Christmas. God bless you all and Merry Christmas.