“Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn’t before! What if Christmas, he thought, doesn’t come from a store. What if Christmas…perhaps…means a little bit more!”
Yes, Grinch! It means a lot more.
It is easy to get caught up in the commercialism of the season, leaving us focusing on money and finances, or lack thereof.
It is easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of holiday shopping and social activities.
It is so easy to busy ourselves with Christmas that we overlook the true meaning of Christmas and the beauty it brings to our lives.
The Grinch was surprised that Christmas, despite his attempt to steal it, still came in Whoville. “It came without ribbons. It came without tags. It came without packages, boxes or bags.”
And while we aren’t Whos, isn’t that how Christmas came for us too?
Christmas wasn’t wrapped in sparkly paper and bows. Christmas came wrapped in swaddling clothes. As a baby in a manager.
Jesus, God’s gift to us… the greatest gift we could ever receive was born with the purpose of pointing us towards God. His birth was a humble one. His life was a humble one. Christ, the King of kings and Lord of lords, whose power surpassed all, dwelt among man. And it was for sinful man (you and me) that he bore the cross.
The true meaning of Christmas is Christ. It’s God’s love story to us. It’s a story of forgiveness and hope.
And our mission as Christ-followers at Christmas is to celebrate God’s gift of love. Our mission is to love one another as Christ loved us.
The memories and traditions we create around the Christmas holiday with our families and loved ones are worth far more than any material gift.
It’s not about who got what. It’s about who we’ve got.
Now let me wrap this up for you with a little fun. In case you don’t know this about me, I’m a bit of a movie fanatic (and being able to spout out movie lines is one of my many talents). So you’ll understand how at the holidays I can easily relate to Macaulay Culkin’s stomping rant in Home Alone when he declares, “there are so many people in this house it makes me sick.”
I can also empathize with Nora Krank (played by Jamie Lee Curtis in Christmas with the Kranks) as she is on a mission to find her daughter’s favorite… hickory honey ham. Racing through the grocery store to grab the last one off the shelf, then bribing a couple at the checkout line to buy the ham they’re in the process of purchasing… how many of us haven’t acted like a bit of a lunatic to make the holidays special for someone?
And finally, is the “you’ve gotta be kidding me”, not-in-the-holiday-mood, head shaking, grumbling of James Caan’s character, Walter in the movie Elf, as his son, Buddy the Elf, innocently states, “the best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear.”
We laugh at these movie scenes because we can commiserate with the character’s emotions. Yet in real life, we find the stress, the pain, the pressure, the struggles much less amusing. We can easily view Christmas as another thing to survive. “If I can just get through the holidays…”
Quite truthfully, sometimes you’re just not going to be in the holiday mood. But don’t let it ruin Christmas for you. Cling to Christ. Cling to the hope he brought into the world. Cling to God as he walks you through this holiday season and all the seasons in your life.
And remember that the true meaning of Christmas is a beautiful story of God’s unconditional love that he gifted to us. Christmas is a story of hope, of humble beginnings, of forgiveness, and of redemption.
When you remember this, it may just be your best Christmas yet.
Merry Christmas, my friend!
Get more of God’s truth & encouragement, and conversations about anger & anxiety on Alisha’s blog, Makeovers & Motherhood.