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What Really Matters At Christmas? It Might Not Be What You Think…

Less than two weeks left. Let's think about this.

by
Rhonda Robinson

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December 14, 2013 - 9:00 am
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bythefire

My daughter hung our Christmas stockings on the mantle this week.

Sitting in the living room, watching the fire and enjoying its beauty made me rethink Christmas.

What is Christmas really about?

I know the right answer. The right answer is that it is about Luke 2:11, the birth of Christ.

“For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.”

King James Bible “Authorized Version”, Cambridge Edition

And yet, most will agree that December 25th is not the day of Jesus’ actual birth. When you take into consideration that it holds many pagan traditions, it draws lawsuits like bees to honey, and was almost trampled to death on Black Friday — it leaves precious little to embrace.

In spite of it all, it is a holiday that still holds deep meaning.

Years ago a Jewish girlfriend told me that they celebrated Christmas. Although they were capable of buying their children the best of everything this family had a strong work ethic and taught their children to work and save for what they wanted. “Christmas,” she confided “is the one day of the year I can spoil them. I can buy them the things I want to give them.” For their family, it had absolutely nothing to do with Christianity. However, they embraced the holiday to celebrate one another.

Before you head to the comments to accuse them of only using Christmas to indulge materialism, that’s not it at all. Face it, good parents want to give good gifts to their children. It’s just built into us. However, good parents don’t routinely indulge their own need to give. They understand the harm overindulgence brings. Christmas allows us to celebrate those we love through gifts both material and giving of ourselves.

When my daughters were little, and money was tight, I would buy them each a “Christmas dress.” They were usually collected throughout the year at garage sales. We would spend hours the night before putting their hair in curls. Then on Christmas Eve dress up in their pretty new dresses. Later that night they could unwrap “one” gift. The rule being, Mom picked which gift they could open. It was always a new pair of pajamas.

Truth is that both the Christmas dresses and new pajamas was all a set up. I was staging them for pictures then and in the morning. Don’t get me wrong, they loved getting all dressed up, and looked forward to the new PJs. But, for me it was all about creating and capturing the memories of their childhood.

It wasn’t long until they outgrew velvet and bows. So one day I tore all their Christmas dresses into shreds.

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All Comments   (4)
All Comments   (4)
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Pretty much what you said - the one day of the year I can spoil my children (now in their twenties).

And I'm so glad you said it! With all the negativity about consumerism (and Christmas), I get tired of people trying to make me feel guilty for doing it. Particularly since, as you said, it's because we've taught thrift and responsibility the rest of the year.

We also have a number of little traditions built up over the years, some of them involving gifts. When you created those stockings, you were also creating another meaningful family tradition.

44 weeks ago
44 weeks ago Link To Comment
In the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit

'the Word made Flesh'

!!Merry Christmas!!
45 weeks ago
45 weeks ago Link To Comment
Yes indeed. Merry Christmas.
44 weeks ago
44 weeks ago Link To Comment
clearly you have never been faced with a girlfriend who thinks she deserves diamonds or, at the very least, semi-precious stones. dress up or quilts or "memories" will not go over well.
45 weeks ago
45 weeks ago Link To Comment
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