What Does Christmas Mean To You?
Have you ever noticed how the 1st of December always has this amazing effect on people?! It is as if all of a sudden everyone is walking around in a bubble of happiness and nothing can ruin their mood for Christmas! I have noticed this and although it is a good thing, I sometimes wonder what the world would be like if we were like this all of the time. The world would surely be a better place.
Maybe it is the smell of the roast dinner, the endless Christmas movies or having the family together and having a well-deserved break from work. Or could it be the opening of the presents and seeing the joy on your loved ones faces when they realise they have got what was on their gift list?! Whatever it is, Christmas may have a very special meaning for you and your family.
For me personally over the years Christmas has sadly lost its spark for my family and I. First, we lost my grandad who totally LOVED Christmas! He loved having us all around and I tell you there was never any space on the table because he cooked every single dish to cater to all of our needs. To my grandad it meant having the whole family around, cooking, having a glass of Bailey’s whilst winding down to watch Eastenders, Coronation Street and the other soaps. He was an amazing grandad and he made Christmas special for us. The day that we lost him, Christmas sort of died for us.
A few weeks ago, our family was hit by another blow, we lost my aunt and today we also lost one of my uncles. Both my aunt’s and uncle’s death were very unexpected to us, but not to God because He had His reasons, and nobody should ever question Him for His choices. Sadly, we do not always understand the way God works, but we can only cherish the fond memories we have of our loved ones until we meet them again in paradise.
We do however still have our family gatherings and our meals throughout the Christmas holiday or other occasions. We also ensure that the children have a fantastic time in all that we do, even if we do not feel that great within ourselves.
Despite all of the above this time of year always reminds me that I am blessed to have a loving and supportive family who sticks together no matter what. Christmas for me is more a celebration of the birth of Christ, Jesus is the reason for the season and that is what we hold on to. I also think of Christmas as a time of giving, sharing and showing love, but these are things that we all should do throughout the year anyway.
“Give to those who ask, and don’t turn away from those who want to borrow.”
- Matthew 5:42
For a few years now, we send Christmas hampers full of supplies/presents to unfortunate children in different locations in the world. It really warms my heart knowing that somewhere, a little child in unfortunate circumstances will receive our presents and smile knowing that these gifts were packed especially for them with love. Honestly, I do not bother so much about receiving presents, all I would like to know on Christmas day is that I am alive, healthy and surrounded by all of my loved ones. That is more important to me than any material gift.
“Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too. You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had.”
- Philippians 2:4-5
With that said, yes, we still give each other gifts. I always go all out for Isabella-Grace because I want her to have a lovely Christmas, although this year I will not go as overboard as last year because wow was that a lot! Someone asked me if it is because I am raising her alone and my response was, “No. I am her mother, I am not her father, God has blessed me with her and I will always play my role to the best of my ability.” I used to feel like I had to compensate for him not being here, but really I don’t because that is his choice. Her father in heaven has loved her before she was born, that is a special kind of love! I am already doing more than enough for my daughter, the little I do at Christmas and for her Birthday are just added extras which I thoroughly enjoy doing. As long as I have breath in my body, my daughter will never lack or want for anything!
My humble sacrifices for my daughter do not compare to what Jesus did for us. “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not His son into the world to condemn the world; but the world through Him might be saved.”
- John 3:16-17
Isn’t that amazing?! Jesus was born so that He could die for all of us. He accepted death for us, even though WE are the sinners! Jesus knew this was His purpose, but yet He did not complain or fuss, He continued to demonstrate love, He helped others, He put people first, He taught people, He preached, He healed people and He made the ultimate sacrifice. Even with all of that, that Jesus did He could have easily said “No, why should I die for these sinners?!” However, He did not because Jesus is completely selfless. How many of us would send our only child to this world to die for all humanity?! I know that I would not do that at all – this is me just being real.
“Instead, He gave up His divine privileges; He took the humble position of a slave and was born as a human being. When He appeared in human form, He humbled himself in obedience to God and died a criminal’s death on a cross. Therefore, God elevated Him to the place of highest honor and gave Him the name above all other names, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue declare that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the father.”
- Philippians 2:7-10
There is so much more to Christmas than just the food and the presents. Think about those who have lost their loved ones, those who are homeless, those who have absolutely nothing to their name. Open your hearts, give to the poor, feed the homeless, volunteer, spread love and light and thank God for every blessing in your life!
“In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father.”
- Matthew 5:16
Tomorrow is not guaranteed, so why wait?! Thank God for what you have whilst you can and don’t leave it too late. Practice gratitude because God does not have to keep you alive nor does He have to keep blessing you, but He chooses to because He loves YOU!
Even if we do not make a big song and dance about Christmas anymore in my family, we always keep Jesus in our hearts and hang on to the idea that we shall all be reunited one day with those we have lost along the way. God knows best and there is always a time for everything. People come into our lives for a reason and a season. With every person we meet they teach us something that we did not know before.
“A Time for Everything
1 For everything there is a season,
a time for every activity under heaven.
2 A time to be born and a time to die.
A time to plant and a time to harvest.
3 A time to kill and a time to heal.
A time to tear down and a time to build up.
4 A time to cry and a time to laugh.
A time to grieve and a time to dance.
5 A time to scatter stones and a time to gather stones.
A time to embrace and a time to turn away.
6 A time to search and a time to quit searching.
A time to keep and a time to throw away.
7 A time to tear and a time to mend.
A time to be quiet and a time to speak.
8 A time to love and a time to hate.
A time for war and a time for peace.”
- Ecclesiastes 3:1-8
If you have lost someone recently, try to do what I do; cherish the memories, the fond moments you shared together, the deep conversations, the laughter and the tears. I choose to keep my aunt, uncle and grandad in my hearts because that way they can never be lost! If you need someone to talk to, please feel free to contact me at: firstname.lastname@example.org
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