Christmas is upon us once more and we will be very busy with church events, singing Christmas trees, shopping, baking cookies and mailing cards, all Christmas staples in America. We will have sung Hark the Herald Angels Sing so often that it will seem like gibberish, much like when you repeat a word over and over until it stops making sense. We will run out to stores, "one more time" to get "one more thing" numerous times and still feel like we left someone out. Anyone with more than one child knows how hard it can be to balance gifts evenly, our family has 5+1 this year as we have the welcome edition of a new son(in law).
I remember back when I was in high school, it was popular to shave the sides of your head, just "a little bit." I asked my sister to shave my sides...just "a little bit"(it was the 80's), and as she worked at keeping both sides even, "a little bit" became more and more until I ended up with an unintended Mohawk! Evening out gifts for 5 kids can be just like that. Every year, my wife and I agree to keep Christmas simple. Everybody gets just "a little bit." We have a set amount of money to spend each year and every year we second guess the amount of gifts we have for each child and every year we attempt to even it up until... well it's the equivalent that Mohawk my sister gave me, by the time we are done. We always seem to end up going much further than we ever planned.
In the midst of all the hustle and bustle(what exactly is bustle, anyway?), we strive to keep the true meaning of Christmas at the fore front. So easily, Christ, the namesake of Christmas, gets lost in the shuffle of events, get togethers, and gift giving. Our family makes a birthday cake for Jesus, even though we are fully aware that He was definitely not born on December 25, and we have a time of prayer and Bible reading. This seems like the least we can do amidst all the tearing of wrapping paper and consuming of foods in quantities we would never even consider, any other time of year.
Christmas Eve service, with at least one more rousing sing-a-long of Hark The Herald Angels Sing, is also an important part of our observance. Oddly enough, though there is not one instance of a singing angel in the scripture, we sing a veritable stocking full of songs about singing angels every Christmas. There is, however, something special and sacred about going to church on Christmas Eve. Even people who only go to church once or twice a year find it important to attend church on the night before Christmas. This is also a great opportunity for the local church to love on visitors and encourage them to come back on Sundays. In my self righteousness and pride, I once felt resentful toward the Christmas and Easter crowd, now, I am glad they come out and worship, and hope to give them a reason to come back and especially hope they make a lasting connection to Christ.
To all my regular readers, I would like say THANK YOU! from the bottom of my heart, for taking the time to read my rants and rambles all year long. I would also like to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Blessed New Year! Thank you to those who comment and feedback on what I write. Jesus loves you and I do what I do because He has given me so much and I know He has much to bless anyone who believes. Looking forward to 2016 and seeing God's plan for His people!