For the four weeks leading up to Christmas, we spend time as a family talking about how we integrate our faith into the Christmas traditions (sort of an Advent approach) that we call the Colors of Christmas. It's always interesting and really helps us stay centered on what's important to us as a family and as disciples of Christ. So by the time Christmas Day rolls around, it is truly the most relaxing day of the year for our family.
We start the day by sleeping in (yes, even when the kiddos were little).We have a big breakfast (this morning it was Phyllis' famous French Toast, sausage, fresh fruit ... and grits, per my request). We watch the Disney Christmas parade (great performances today by Toby Mac, Colbie Caillat, and Yolanda Adams). Then we open gifts one at a time. Our Christmas morning never ends until around 3pm. Very relaxing.
There is truly something "magical" about this holiday that makes it stand out on the calendar. Think about it. Why do you celebrate Christmas? What is it about this holiday that makes it so special? Maybe you can identify with my personal A-HA! moment ... Christmas sparks a reversal in all of us. We all love to get gifts. But Christmas makes us want to give. Commercialism can't cause that. Consumerism is the opposite of altruism. And Christmas, unlike any other day of the year, awakens in each of us a desire to bless someone else, whether a friend, a family member, or a stranger. Our family happened to be on the receiving end of that Spirit this year, and it has made me realize just how powerful that reversal can be. Christmas is truly about giving.
More than 2,000 years ago, the Son of God gave up His home in heaven to come live among men, born of a virgin in a little town called Bethlehem. That, I believe, is the Spirit of Christmas that has managed to permeate every culture and context, even if not always recognized. May the Spirit of giving, initiated by God the Father and carried out perfectly in His Son, Jesus Christ, fill your heart for 2013 and beyond, and may we all learn to be just a little more giving in the coming days, weeks and years. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!