Sunday, December 11, 2016

How to do Christmas "right"

The key to doing Christmas “right”

As a kid, Christmas in our home was always a special time.  My family didn’t have a lot of money, but my parents always made sure that our Christmas was done “just right”.  They were excellent at building our anticipation for Santa’s arrival.  We sent letters to the North Pole, stayed up late on Christmas Eve watching classic Christmas movies and then woke up early Christmas morning to find that Santa had enjoyed his cookies and milk and left gifts for each of us under the tree.  

Years later, when I had kids of my own, I was determined to replicate the same experience for my kids.  I went above and beyond to give my kids the full “Santa Experience”.  My kids loved it!  However, having received the Lord as my Savior, I felt a bit convicted when making Christmas all about Santa.  I decided to include Jesus in our traditions through the reading of the Christmas Story on Christmas Eve.  I even added a nativity scene to our decorations.  I wanted to make sure that my kids enjoyed a Christmas filled with Santa and yet also knew all about the miracle of Jesus’ birth.  The changes seemed to satisfy the conviction I had been feeling.  However, as my relationship with the Lord grew, I realized there was so much more.  I learned that Christmas isn’t only about celebrating Jesus’ birth, it’s celebrating what Jesus is doing right now.  My husband and I began to look for ways in which our family could serve others during the holidays.  We want our kids to experience and celebrate what Jesus is doing RIGHT NOW.

Although I will always cherish the Christmas memories I have from my childhood, I now believe that doing Christmas “right” is really all about celebrating what Jesus is doing “right now”.  

-- Julie Tamez 

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