What are your Christmas traditions? What are those things that you do every year to celebrate the holiday season? Do you bake cookies? Decorate the house? Put up the Christmas tree? Watch a Christmas movie? What are those things that you and your family do every year as you mark the days of December off your calendar? What are your family Christmas traditions?
Do any of those traditions include Jesus?
Today is the first Sunday of advent. The first day of the official season where we prepare for the coming of Jesus. At church we lit the first candle of the advent wreath. At home we started the decorating. We all start making those lists of things to do, things to bake, and things to buy. We plan for the business and busyness of Christmas. We coordinate our calendars with our family, to plan parties and get togethers. We fight with our checkbook to find money for all the gifts we “need” to purchase. We stay up late to get the letters written and cards mailed. We want this Christmas to be perfect for everyone we know and love.
The problem is, we all too often forget to put Christ in our Christmas. We work so hard to prove that we are celebrating Christmas, we forget to celebrate the birth of Jesus. We try to make everyone happy without spending time thinking about the real reason we have a holiday to celebrate.
So today, I hope you all have a beautiful Advent. I hope your house, your tree and your heart are all full of Christmas spirit.
Thank you for your Son, for your love, and for the gift of life. Thank you for giving us the gift of Christmas, a reason to spend time with our family in friends in the middle of winter.