Gifts, Grace and Glamour

Christmas. In many countries an annual public holiday which closes the Advent season. Celebrated culturally by a large number of non-Christian and Christian people. Takes place mostly at the end of December, sometimes in January. Stands for gifts, family meetings, delicious food. There is the traditional Christmas tree and other sometimes beautiful, sometimes overdone decoration. It’s all about lights, bling-bling, candles. The radio would play Christmas songs for several weeks long. Children would recite a poem and receive presents. Mothers would bake cookies and create gingerbread houses. Like every year, son James would try to steal some dough. Like every year, grandmother Anna would bring some self-made socks. Like every year, uncle Sam would play the Santa Claus with a white beard and deep voice. Same same, but different. Every year a few days long. That’s it.

That’s it? Really? That’s all what Christmas is about? Just like another feast? Is it all about gifts, gatherings and glamour?
Don’t we forget something? Just a “small” detail. Oh wait, isn’t it the detail, which is actually called “reason”?! Many surveys in the past showed that there is quite a big, uncountable amount of people, especially children who do not know why Christmas is celebrated. You can call this fact “not so important”. I call it “scary”.

Shouldn’t we all be aware of the only reason to celebrate Christmas? Shouldn’t we all know what makes us follow this tradition? What had happened 2000 years ago? Maybe not all would believe that, however, at least we could talk about it, since everybody makes a big thing out of it, right?! At least we could discuss it. At least we could tell our children that amazing Christmas story.

I’d say, vital is to put the focus on the right thing. I claim that Christmas is about gifts. Yes, you read correctly. Christmas is all about gifts. I don’t mean receiving those lovely wrapped parcels, which sometimes only make you have more stuff you don’t need. I don’t mean material. It’s a nice tradition, yes. However, what I mean is the gift which God gave us 2000 years ago – and which is still valid today. Isn’t that the most beautiful, amazing, merciful, glamorous one? He broke the silence between himself and human-beings which he had kept for so many years.
“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” John 3.16
That one and only Son, miraculously created and born, gave tips for daily life, taught, discipled, healed, brought dead back to life, performed miracles. He was God’s son and a human at the same time. His life was faultless, however, they arrested and crucified him. He rose again after three days. By that he created a way for us not only to be able to connect with God personally and have a relationship with him but also to be free of any condemnation. Jesus died for all our sins. He has set us free. Freedom is the best gift we can receive. Free of charge and available for everybody.

However, this is only one part of Christmas. As a matter of fact, gifts have two sides: receiving and giving. Again, I’m not talking about material in the first place. Even now, that I am in Cambodia where many have a lack of clothes, food, …, – I don’t think this is most vital thing. Or maybe, being here makes me think like that. The happiness of many people is sometimes really stunning. I claim that the emotional part is more important, especially during Christmas. I reckon we should be giving joy and love to our neighbours. We should make them happy, care for them, be truly interested in their lives. Like Mother Teresa says:

“Spread love everywhere you go. Let no one ever come to you without leaving happier.”

There is no plural form for the word LOVE. It is uncountable. It is unlimited. It can be lived variously. Everybody has it. Everybody needs it. It is the key to create a better world. It can resolve many problems or even make them not appear at all.
Showing love to others is the best gift we can make.

While thinking in that way about Christmas, I realise, that we should have Christmas every single day in our lives.
Think about it.

Merry Christmas!