According to a Harris poll, Americans still pick Christmas as their favorite holiday, by a wide margin. Forty-six percent of all Americans enjoy celebrating Christmas more than all others.
I was curious why people felt that way.
I googled and read several articles from a variety of ages and backgrounds. Interestingly, the number one reason people listed Christmas as their favorite holiday was because of the “spirit of the season.”
One writer simply said, “Christmas just makes everyone act like better people.”
God knew we needed Christmas
God knows and has planned for every moment of human history. He doesn’t control every choice because he created people with free will. So God chose to give us Christmas, a season that reminds us of the blessings and the costs associated with a world full of free will choices.
Most people use their free wills to help others—not always, but often. It’s been encouraging to watch the volunteers who have jumped to help those impacted by the terrible tornadoes that ripped through this country. Help has poured into these towns from all directions.
A lot of the reporters describe such generosity as the “spirit of Christmas.” We know the spirit’s Name. The spirit of Christmas is Christ.
Everyone needs Jesus, so God gave us Christmas.
Christmas giving 2021
God knew in advance that a lot of our Christmas gifts would still be floating around on ships or not yet manufactured.
Could that be God’s gift for Christmas 2021?
My husband has used an illustration in the past about a wealthy man who gave a great deal of money to a university, just before the stock market crash of 1929. The Great Depression followed, and the man who had been wealthy became poor. The university felt bad about owning more of the man’s money than he did. His response was profound.
He said he didn’t regret giving that money at all.
He pointed to the new buildings his gift had purchased and said, “If I hadn’t given my money to you, it would have just been lost.”
This is a good year to consider what we do with what we have. Maybe we should be giving less under our trees and more for the people who have the greatest needs.
A passage to ponder
Paul passed his philosophy of giving to Timothy, his protégé, and his words speak to Christmas 2021. Paul wrote, “As for the rich in this present age, charge them not to be haughty, nor to set their hopes on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly provides us with everything to enjoy. They are to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share, thus storing up treasure for themselves as a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of that which is truly life” (1 Timothy 6:17–19).
There are a lot of people in need this Christmas. And, even though I know this will sound a bit Scroogish, I want to say it: the children of this country don’t need more toys as much as some adults and children of this country need shelter, food, and clothing.
Many adults of this country don’t need more now either. There are ways we can give this year that will provide what will not be used up, thrown away, or regifted someday. In the process, we can remind people to consider those things that matter most.
For those of us who have what we need, let’s invest our Christmas spirit in “good works” and “take hold of that which is truly life.”
There are a lot of great organizations that stand ready to help the people who are without everything this Christmas. My husband and I give to the Texas Baptist Men because we like to donate to a group that gives the gospel as well as meals, church recovery, clothes, food, and showers, and provides for so many other needs.
People need help with “life,” but everyone also needs “to take hold of that which is truly life.” Christians should want to give to every aspect of a person’s life and well-being.
God gave us Christmas
Christmas is a unique holiday that almost every country in the world celebrates this time of year. There is something unique about Christmas that unifies the world. Actually, there is Someone.
The hope of Christmas is universal. “For God so loved the world” he gave us Jesus (John 3:16). God gave us Christmas for a reason. God gave us a season to help us remember we are to live and give as Christ exemplified. He left his throne and chose the manger. He left eternity to choose the cross.
What will we sacrifice this Christmas for the sake of others?
If your inbox is like mine, there is no shortage of “requests” for giving. In fact, I’ll send a request for our ministry in a week or two. But, that isn’t my point today.
God speaks to his children, and we need to be listening. Someone needs you today. Someone needs you to give them the love of Christ this Christmas. Pray, asking God to direct your thoughts and choices. We can help someone “take hold of that which is truly life.” Giving that gift is how you can take hold of Jesus too.
I write to you each week but only know some of you. I want this message to be the gift I give each of you this Christmas. If I can encourage you to share the love of Jesus with others, God will give you the blessings of this Christmas season and the coming new year.
God gave us Christmas so we could give Christmas away to those around us. The “spirit of Christmas” has a name and we know him. Give, in the name of Jesus, and you will experience Christmas yourself.
May you “take hold” of the Christmas season and experience “that which is truly life.” May the blessings of Christmas fill your home today as you share the Christ of Christmas with others.
God gave us Christmas so we could do the same.