the meaning of Christmas
The meaning of Christmas is, of course, right there in the name: CHRIST-mas. It is the celebration of the birth of the Savior, my Savior. It is a season dedicated to honoring the one true God who came to earth in human form so that all of humanity could know Him and understand that His love will set us free. Freedom from the bonds of humanity, with its heartache and pain and fear and worry and ugliness. Freedom from being chained to this world, to living without hope of a better eternity. And yes, freedom from everlasting death itself. Christmas has been set aside to honor God in His choice to embrace us humans, His very own creation, despite the fact that we often do not embrace Him. Christmas is the celebration of the unconditional love of a Heavenly Father who provided us a gateway to heaven for all eternity. That gateway is Jesus Christ, whose birth we celebrate during the Christmas season.
Everything that I enjoy at Christmas time is a direct reflection of the celebration of my Savior. Spending time with my family is special because we are all believers and always remember to acknowledge the Reason for this season. Decorating the tree is always nostalgic because every ornament has a special memory attached to it. And all of my home decor has a story concerning each piece, so everything around me is a reminder of the people I love and the people who love me. Shopping for gifts is my greatest pleasure because my personal love language is gift-giving, and each item I select is meant to convey my love for the recipient. I want each person to know that I took the time to hear their wishes and chose their gift specifically with them in mind. Nothing generic will do! Christmas allows me to express love for each and every person who is important to me, and that makes the holidays as special for me as it is for those I honor.
I could not imagine walking through the days of December without knowing the depth of Christ’s love. It would be more shallow, more commercial than I ever would desire. And I could easily become depressed at the thought of being one more soul in the hustle and bustle of millions. Even when I am alone during the days of Christmas, I still know that I am not truly alone. Christ lives within me, and I have the hope of heaven always in my heart. That assurance gives me LIFE. And the love of such a Savior who came to earth as a sacrifice to save my own darkened soul is far greater a love than any I could muster on my own. It is because of my Savior that I can share true love with strangers, just as I share it with my own family and friends. And that is the true gift of Christmas.
Documenting the days of Christmas was inspired by Ali Edwards’s December Daily project and the Holidays in Hand class by Jessica Sprague.