I attended a Christmas gathering recently and part of the festivities included sharing what our favorite childhood Christmas toy was. The answers were varied, although given the room was filled with women, a doll was probably at the top of the list. Others named a bicycle, rubik’s cube, Barbie’s and hula hoops; etch a sketch and color-forms; Easy Bake ovens and the magic 8 ball!
Of course there were those, like myself, who had a very poor childhood and gifts were not memorable. Still there were a few we could remember. I remember one Christmas when my parents told my sisters and I Christmas would include no gifts, since we were taking a trip to visit relatives, and money would be needed for gas. Still as a young child, I had expectations of gifts, even if they weren’t much.
Christmas morning I learned how honest my parents were! My older sister and I received a single gift, a small bottle of perfume from the products my father peddled at the time. Honestly, I was crushed! Of course, my sister and I pasted our best smiles on our faces and accepted the gift with all the exuberance we could muster. I haven’t any idea what my three year sister received that year, but I was sure disappointed.
It’s interesting how important gifts are when we are children. When I was young, the really big event before Christmas was the arrival of the Sears and Roebuck Christmas Catalogue, along with the J.C. Penny and Montgomery Ward editions. As a child I spent hours, literally, scouring every page, choosing specific toys or clothes, right down to the color and size of the shirt, matching shoes, or dress I wanted. This was followed by all the items I would buy, if I had my own house! The truth is, Christmas in this environment, was all about me!
As a child, we don’t think past what we want right now. We want the happiness that can be unwrapped from under the tree. In the corporate world it’s all about making as much money as can be made with as little effort as possible, regardless of who is hurt. As parents, it’s about making sure our young ones have the best Christmas ever. We shop and wrap, keep secrets, decorate and do all within our means (and sometimes beyond our means) to make sure our children have the Christmas of their dreams!
But Christmas is not about me, making money, the gifts, decorations, parties and social life and secrets! It’s about Jesus! It’s about the promise of the Messiah being fulfilled through that tiny babe in a manger. It’s also about why He came. Our Savior came as a humble child to be the perfect sacrifice for our sins on the cross at Calvary. We were given the gift of Christmas to have the gift of salvation at Easter! This is the best gift, ever!
Where is your heart today? Is it tied up in the secular materialism known as Christmas to the general world or is your heart given to the Risen Messiah? Your answer will determine your eternal home.
Merry Christmas, Everyone!