Our Unusual Christmas Gift

I am always amazed at the news footage during the holiday season. Is a cheap television set worth the price of a person’s dignity or character? The crazier the holiday becomes, the more time I spend in search of solitude and peace.

This year that will be an easy thing to find. Jim had foot surgery last week, so we will be staying home for a while until he is back on his feet, literally! Even as I type, our youngest son is moving computer screens and running wires so that Jim can do his work from the comfort of his study with his foot propped up for comfort.

Several people expressed regret for our sakes that his surgery occurred over the holiday season. For us, it is perfect timing. For many years, our Christmas season was a rush of holiday parties, holiday church events, and the busyness of raising our kids. We enjoyed those Christmases very much but there is a special anticipation for this holiday.

We will spend this Christmas together, in our home, and enjoy a lot more time to be still and think about the baby in the manger. He was and still is God incarnate. When I think about Mary and Joseph in Bethlehem, I see a young couple holding their new baby and enjoying their miracle. The rest of the world rushed by while Mary held God Incarnate in her arms. Our world will rush by that baby as well. But God’s people know better and will probably do better.

That is my personal goal for this Christmas. I have two new grandsons that I look forward to holding in my arms. When I do, I will think about Mary and the way she cradled the King of kings in that same way. Instead of rushing to parties or the mall, I will enjoy a fire in the fireplace and my Christmas tree. My only worry is that the peaceful schedule of this Christmas will be difficult to match in the coming years. We probably won’t have this good of an excuse in the coming years.

Christmas should be peaceful. Christmas should be about Jesus. But it is usually about so many other things. I am a big fan of G. K. Chesterton. I read this quote and thought I would share it with all of you. He said, “There are two ways to get enough. One is to continue to accumulate more and more. The other is to desire less.” Maybe Chesterton offers us a good word for our Christmas holiday. Christmas will be enough when we desire it to be less.

Consider reviewing your calendars and removing at least two commitments. Order dinner and build a fire. Go to a good movie or watch one at home. Send a “regret” to people you like for the sake of spending time with the people you love. One way to spend Christmas is to add more and more to your calendar. Chesterton would suggest that your Christmas will be full if you desire to do less and less.

Jesus would love to give each of us a Christmas gift. It’s found in his words: “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives” (John 14:27). Jesus wants you to have peace this Christmas season. But that peace is a gift he can only give to the people who choose to receive it. Peace is our perfect gift from the Lord this year. It came wrapped up in a swollen foot that will be better by Christmas day. Maybe I ought to put a Christmas bow on that big walking boot as a reminder.

There is a lot of holiday left. I pray that God’s peace will be a gift all of you receive from Jesus. Hopefully he will wrap your peace up a little differently than he did ours, though! I wish each of you Christmas blessings!

Join us at www.christianparenting.org and chime in on this week’s discussion question
: Share your favorite family Christmas traditions.