How many Christmases have you experienced?
Of course, that number will vary with each of us. But have you stopped to think about the many characteristics of each Christmas? They’re all different in so many ways.
The early years of Christmas
As a child, you might remember the difficulty of falling asleep as you anxiously anticipated Christmas morning. You jumped out of bed early the next day in your jammies and ran to the tree and then excitedly waited for everyone else.
Christmas changed as you entered your teenage years. You were still anxious for Christmas morning but much more reserved as the gifts changed from toys to clothes and electronics. Of course, electronics in those days were stereos, record players, and tapes, which could have been reel-to-reel, 8-track, or cassette tapes.
The growing years of Christmas
You eventually married, and you started new traditions beginning on Christmas morning with your new spouse and later, possibly a trip to one or both parents. Christmas had a new dimension with the love of your life added to it. It still held magic, but the magic was changing.
Eventually, along came a baby, and then another, and maybe another. Now Christmas really looked different. The excitement was no longer about you and what you expected. Rather, Christmas became about your children and their excitement. It was now your task of cleaning up the scattered wrapping paper and boxes, and possibly putting toys and gadgets together. Maybe your job was preparing the meal for your growing family and perhaps for your parents and grandparents that would arrive later in the day. Christmas had taken an entirely new look from only a few years earlier.
The maturing years of Christmas
All at once, the kids grew up and left home. Where did the years go? College, marriage, their families, your grandkids. While you no longer personally experienced the magic of Christmas, you loved watching the little ones of another generation living the enchantment.
The painful years of Christmas
We would be amiss if we didn’t mention the drastic change in Christmas when a family member was no longer present. The child that moved across the country and can’t make it home this year. Maybe a family broke up: an argument, an accident, a divorce, or – a death. Christmas no longer looks or feels the same. For the first time in your life, you search for the happiness of the season. Expectations and excitement have vanished. You knew this day would come, but no one can prepare for it. Friends and family try their best to make the day fun, but you miss that loved one or family ever so much. Sorrow and pain is your new companion of the Christmas season.
The one constant of Christmas
Excitement, anticipation, laughter, strewn wrapping paper everywhere, and delicious meals have, in many ways, faded into the past. Change! Why do our lives always change? It hurts so terribly. Yet, there is one solid Christmas truth that never ever changes: the story of the birth of the baby – the Messiah.
No matter how much our world changes, the story remains the same. God sent His Son, Jesus, as a baby. He came in an unexpected way, to an unexpected couple, born in an unexpected place, and announced to unexpected shepherds.
Our lives change each year, and every Christmas looks different from the one before. Past Christmases brought us joy or possibly sorrow, and now this year, because of COVID 19, we might not gather as large families as in the past. One thing, however, remains – Christmas is still all about the birth of Jesus.
It’s all about the birth of the Christ Child
Maybe you're young and live in a broken home, or maybe you’re surrounded by a large extended family; perhaps you're on your own and far away from home; perchance you are parents of young children, or the opposite: empty nesters; possibly you're an aging couple, or perhaps your spouse has passed, yet in more than 2000 years the Christmas story has never changed – JESUS CAME AS AN INNOCENT BABY. Everything else may look different, but the story of Jesus never changes. It never grows old. We never tire of the Christmas story.
Whatever unexpected events bring about changes to your Christmas, let's continue to focus on why we celebrate. It's all about the birth of the Christ Child.
God Bless & Merry Christmas