boy and girl holding nativity ornament in hands sitting by christmas tree
Grace Boldman
SG Member
December 4, 2023

Presents! Candy! Rudolph! Santa! The kids answered excitedly into the icy microphone held by the red-faced reporter at the holiday parade. She’d asked them to describe Christmas in just one word. Soon that microphone was in the frozen face of an adorable five-year-old boy. One second, two seconds, three seconds … he was stone silent, but his wide eyes revealed the answer. Now she was moving on to the next child and he had to shout to be heard, “Jesus! It’s Jesus.” He smiled in relief, melting every heart. Yep, he’d nailed it. 

It’s been over 20 years since I experienced that moment and I love how it comes back to me every Christmas. It’s usually at my most stressful times when the “presents, candy, Rudolph, Santa” haze starts to overtake me. I see that angelic face and the moment that kid remembered what it was all about. Then, I remember too. 

“But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David, a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” Luke 2:10-12 

It’s no secret, Christmas gets complicated.

Family traditions, tricky relationships, so many expectations, so many Amazon boxes … how will you get it all done? How will you make them all happy? Who’s picking up Grandma? Do everyone’s shoes fit? Why can’t Costco open at 8? How can exams and the Christmas concert be on the same day? We need more lights, more whip cream, more generosity. Do they know it’s Christmas after all? 

No question, today’s Christmas is a lot.  

Also, no question, God gives us everything we need.

Remember the first Christmas. 

“While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.” Luke 2:6-7

A manger where animals feed was the bed of the King of kings. His Christmas outfit was cloths. He was bathed in the light of a brilliant star. Reading God’s word about the first Christmas brings me peace. God chose the humblest of beginnings for his Son. Surely, whatever I’m doing is more than enough. 

Give the gift of Jesus to yourself and your family. 

Jesus is Christmas. The secret to the joy we crave is keeping Him present in every day of the holiday and every day thereafter.  

So, when you find yourself getting overwhelmed, read the Christmas accounts in Luke and Matthew in the Bible. Return to the awe of a night sky, the tenderness of a baby, the simplicity of the manger, the love of dear parents.   

Add more prayer to your existing traditions of Christmas baking or decorating, even putting up lights. Every action can be for the glory of God. You know it’s not about the perfect cookies or the blingiest tree. When you accept that knowledge with your whole heart and soul, Christmas is more than beautiful, it’s divine. 

Let go of “topping” last year’s gifts or experiences. Recognize that God already did that for you. There’s none higher than Jesus, none more glorious. 

Bring the love of Jesus to your peskiest relative or someone in need. That’s the ultimate gift. 

Carry the innocence of baby Jesus with you when your Christmas preparations call for a 4:00 p.m. ride down Hall Road. Bless all the drivers, especially the ones that cut everyone off dashing across 4 lanes.  

When Jesus is truly alive in your Christmas, goodness and light cover every darkness, even those circles under your eyes lovingly earned from a late night of wrapping.  

Merry Christmas everyone!