“Christmas is not a time nor a season, but a state of mind. To cherish peace and goodwill, to be plenteous in mercy, is to have the real spirit of Christmas.” Calvin Coolidge
I love the Christmas season. The energy, the lights, family gatherings, great food, and of course a smattering of gifts has always been an enjoyable time of year for me. But, beyond all of these, I’ve always understood that there is something vitally more important.
Christmas is a time for us to honor Christ. Yes, we know it is the season that we celebrate the birth of Christ.
But, celebrating the birth of Christ is about much more than singing “Joy to the World”, hanging a stocking for Jesus over the fireplace, or reading the Christmas story from the bible.
While all of these are great traditions to honor as part of the Christmas celebration, they are not ultimately how to fundamentally celebrate Christ.
No. Celebrating the birth of Christ always begins at the same place. Giving gifts.
Well, that might not sound like any grand revelation. Just a glance under the Christmas tree will prove that there is no shortage of gift giving in many of our homes. In fact, one might argue that most of us give too much.
In fact, a recent Gallup poll estimates that on average Americans will spend close to $800 this Christmas season. And, it isn’t just an American thing. British sources estimate nearly double that amount.
So, indeed, there is plenty of gift giving. But, here is the problem.
Very little of this gift giving is honoring the birth of Christ.