9. Decorating the house.
8. Listening to "Alvin and the Chipmunks" or "Bing Crosby".
7. Helping the kids draw names with each other.
6. Shopping for presents.
5. Baking and decorating our gingerbread houses and cookies.
4. A beautifully wrapped present.
3. Going Christmas caroling with our church.
2. Stuffing the stockings.
1. Spending time with all my family!
I know I have probably surprised many of you by not mentioning the "Christmas story", or various other typical Christian aspects of Christmas as being favorite things. But isn't Christ our reason for rejoicing at any time of year? His coming to earth is the reason we have eternal life and I have always thought that we should celebrate Christ's birth all year long. So please forgive me if I don't automatically think of Christmas as Jesus birthday. For me, it's a special time for giving gifts and spending time with family and rejoicing in our blessings. Everything we have or enjoy is because of Christ.
Now, having said that, Luke Ch 2 definitely has special meaning to me and I have recently found myself identifying (in a small way) with what Mary must have been going through when she traveled pregnant on a donkey to a strange city to have her firstborn baby in a cold drafty barn delivered by a man who was probably still somewhat of a stranger to her, even though they were married. I was asked to be Mary in our Christmas play this year and since I was pregnant up until 2 weeks before the play, it has really been on my mind alot. I don't pretend at all that my situation is the same as hers, but it has made me wonder....what was she thinking? what was Joseph thinking? She was a real person, and Jesus was a real baby. I can only imagine that she was as overwhelmed as I always am every time I look into the face of my baby, or nurse him, or feel his tiny wight in my arms and know that I'm responsible for raising him. Except that must have been magnified many times over for her, by knowing that she was holding the Saviour of the world. Is it possible to comprehend something like that? Of was that just something she came to understand the full meaning of as she raised Him and watched Him grow and then watched Him crucified?
I don't know, but I do know this...no matter the season, no matter the time of year...I want my life to celebrate my living Saviour in every way, no matter what we are doing.
Merry Christmas everyone!