A friend who works at our local Christian radio station often stops by to get clips of the kids' voices for the radio. Today she was asking questions about their favorite Christmas memories and had them read a few passages from the Biblical account of Jesus' birth.
Last year, she recorded Josh telling one of his favorite memories. He shared a funny story about the time he had asked for a compound bow for Christmas and how his parents had creatively and surprisingly given it to him.
This time I tried to think of a favorite memory. I have a lot of trouble with this since so many of my favorite memories have to do with the Christmas season. But I chose to share about a moment that happened just a few years ago.
(Disclaimer: If you are local and may hear this on the radio, I aplogize for the spoiler.)
When my little Gabe was just about 2 years old he figured out that Christmas would include opening the fun, shiny packages under our tree. He knew that some of those presents were for him and he was so excited for Christmas morning. He came into the living room that morning full of exuberance, ready to celebrate and indulge.
He just didn't know about one little thing. Our family always begins our Christmas morning celebration by reading the story of Jesus' birth from the Bible. It's our way of focusing our attention on the correct reason for celebrating.
Our poor little Gabe didn't understand the delay. He sat on Daddy's lap and cried his heart out as we listened to the story. Big tears and everything.
The reason why it's a favorite memory is because I use this as a reminder for myself. In just the opposite way of my little Gabe, if I don't have my focus on Christ during the Christmas season, I'll be miserable. If I'm so bound by the busyness of baking, and buying, wrapping and visiting, but forget to spend time dwelling on the gift I have received because of Christ's sacrifice, then I am missing the whole point.
When you come down to it, Chistmas isn't about the giving or receiving. It's about the Son of God who came as a baby, grew to manhood, lived a sinless life, died a horrific death, and rose from the dead. It's about the only One who can save me from myself and my poor choices. It's about something far greater than me ... it's about redemption.