Friday, December 14, 2012

The Real Christmas Spirit


Christmas. A word that can instill fear in the hearts of people. Fear that we haven't gotten our Christmas shopping done yet. Fear there's not enough time left to do all we have to do. For some kids, it may be fear they weren't “good enough” for Santa to bring them all that they want on their list this year. For some adults, it may even be fear of the in-laws. Or even fear of being alone during the holidays. But fear is the last thing we should be experiencing!

I've been watching a lot of hokey Christmas movies on the Hallmark channel. As one is finished, I tape another one to the DVR so I don't miss it. They are ridiculously hokey and, well, just ridiculous. But I can't stop watching them! Because there's always a real message in them; apparently, the Hallmark channel isn't afraid to make a movie with "God" in it. From the singing of the real Christmas carols, to people being in church, from showing a Christmas play about the birth of Jesus, and people even praying over the dinner table. The acting may not be great, and the story a bit hokey as I said, but the messages these movies bring are down-home, real, and make you think. Christmas is not about fear.

Bob & I had a heart-to-heart this year about gift giving. He doesn't understand the “wish list” idea. He says a gift should be one given from the heart, not just picked off a wish list. He grew up in a home where Christmas was always first about the baby Jesus, and family next. Santa was way down the line. They didn't make wish lists; gifts were given by knowing the person you were buying for and giving something from their hearts. It was different for me. It was always about Santa in our house. Santa was the one bringing the gifts. We went to see Santa and gave him our list of things we just had to have. We had to be “good” all year, because if we weren't Santa would know! We didn't get everything we had on our lists, but Santa was always pretty good to us.

One year, while Derek was still so sick and was in and out of the hospital, we had just gotten discharged from the hospital and Christmas was just a week away. There was no money for presents for him & Brooke, and it was all we could do to get a tree in the house. We didn't know how we were even going to get groceries. There certainly wasn't much Christmas spirit in our home either. But guess what happened? There was a knock at the door soon after we got home, and we found someone from the church we were attending standing there, arms filled with boxes of groceries and bags of presents for the kids. There are hardly words to express how much that meant to us. People had given from their hearts, showing the love of Jesus to us. I will never forget this act of kindness, and it still brings tears to my eyes. The best gifts, ever.

This year, amidst all the hustle & bustle, take some time to search your hearts. Ask God where you can be used to help someone feel the love of Jesus this year. And your heart will know the joy of blessing someone who will never forget where the real Christmas spirit truly comes from.

Oh, and watch some hokey Christmas movies on the Hallmark channel this year!

And the angel said to them, “Fear not; for behold, I bring you tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For to you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord.”
Luke 2:10,11