© 2011 Delia Latham
With Christmas fast approaching, signs of the season are everywhere.
Beautifully decorated trees adorn every store window and mall walkway. Tinsel, ornaments, lots of red and green…all familiar, well-loved traditions that make the season festive. Christmas music is piped into every possible sales venue to put shoppers in the Christmas (i.e., buying) spirit.
The lyrics to one of those songs talks about the twelve days of Christmas.
I don't know a lot about partridges in pear trees. What lords a-leaping and swans a-swimming have to do with Christmas is beyond me. Somewhere in the annals of history, there could be a reason they made their way into this song…I don't know.
But I do know about a newborn baby in a manger, surrounded by animals and angels and a few very wise men. I know about an inn that could not find room for the Christ-child. I know about these things because they are what Christmas is all about.
I enjoy a gorgeous Christmas tree as much as the next person. I love all the pretty baubles hanging on the branches, and the smell of pine. Nothing gives me greater pleasure then placing my angel at the tip top of the tree when everything else is hung and strung and picture perfect. You just can't beat that bated-breath feeling during the countdown to the "plug-in" and seeing the tree light up for the first time…sparkling, twinkling, filling hearts with the joy of the season.
I love that! I do.
My heart is thrilled at the sight of children tearing into the gifts they've waited all month to see. I especially enjoy all the extra love that seems to just be there on Christmas day. It's as if everyone tries a little harder to be kind, loving, and forgiving—thinking a little more of others, and a little less of themselves.
Giving and receiving…but especially giving, is a beautiful part of the season. And what could be more welcoming than the fragrance of hot apple cider, cinnamon and bayberry, and pumpkin pie spices wafting through a home?
Those are all good things. Great things.
But I can't help but wonder.
Have we over-filled our holidays with gifts and decorations and cooking and scheduling a dozen and one Yuletide events, to the extent that—once again—there's no room for Christ? When our little ones dive under the tree on Christmas morning, headed straight for the biggest box they can find…is that all the day means to them? Have we taken time to tell them about that lowly inn in Bethlehem? When they sing "Away in a Manger," do they have even the slightest clue as to what a manger is, and why this one made its way into a song?
Or have we allowed our children to think Christmas is all about talking snowmen, elves and reindeer, and jolly men yelling ho-ho-ho?
If the Christmas morning of tomorrow is to have any meaning beyond the commercial holiday it has become, it's up to us to make it so.
Let's open the door to Christ on Christmas!
Bring that baby in out of the cold and allow His love to make Christmas CHRIST-filled. Unlock the doors of your "inn," and let Jesus spend Christmas at your house.
He is, after all, the Reason for the season…
Delia writes inspirational romance and women's fiction, and is currently contracted through White Rose Publishing and Vinspire Publishing.
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