The Joy of Christmas

I love Christmastime.  I always have.  Something about lights and cozy scarves and warm drinks–it’s like nothing bad can happen.

A few years ago I read an article by Tony Reinke where he shared a letter that Dietrich Bonhoeffer wrote to his parents in December of 1943 from a Nazi prison.  Bonhoeffer says,

Viewed from a Christian perspective, Christmas in a prison cell can, of course, hardly be considered particularly problematic. Most likely many of those here in this building will celebrate a more meaningful and authentic Christmas than in places where it is celebrated in name only.

As someone who really enjoys the comforts of Christmas, this really convicted me.  What is Christmas about–truly?  How often do we say it’s about Jesus, but then we don’t really live that out?

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I’m thankful that my parents were very intentional about making Christmas morning about Jesus before it was about anything else.

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We aren’t putting up a tree this year.  It didn’t really make sense to us since we won’t be in our home Christmas morning and L is quite the little explorer.  In years past, this would have really bummed me out.  Instead, this year feels more “like Christmas” than ever before.  Starting December 1st, we began reading The One True Light by Tim Chester to prepare our hearts for Christmas Day.  I’ve never done an advent calendar or readings before, but in just two days, I already feel more centered and focused on Christ than I have before during this season.

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As a mom, I desire so much for my girls to seek Jesus in everything.  We talk about Him day in and day out–how He will help K be obedient if she asks Him to and how He loves her and is always with her.  I desperately want her to be desperate for Him.  Now that she is old enough to participate in family discussions and ask questions (seriously–she blows me away), it makes Christmas that much more significant to me.  I don’t want it to be about Santa or Christmas lists.  I don’t want to have to undo anything when she gets “old enough to understand.”  She has been learning since the day she came into this world and I don’t want to waste a moment teaching her anything other than the truth.  I am not judging those who choose to do Santa with their kids–I am simply sharing my heart for this season and what we feel is right for our family.

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There’s certainly nothing wrong with enjoying this temporal world so long as it doesn’t interfere with our understanding of the spiritual world.  In fact, I believe God created this temporal world to be always pointing us to the spiritual.

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This afternoon we spent time together listening to Christmas music, drinking homemade hot chocolate, and putting up a few decorations.  It’s a wonderful time of year.  I hope that you can enjoy this season with your family and friends as you fix your eyes on our one true hope–Jesus.  Merry Christmas, friends!


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