Christmas to me has always been about two things: Jesus Christ, and my family.
Each year at this time, I take time to reflect on why Christ was born, and the true meaning behind his miraculous birth. I am reminded that He came here to create relationships with us. To build a bridge to cover the distance between holiness and humanity, and the way we cross that bridge is by choosing to enter into a relationship with Him. It is not at all about the things we do. It is purely about the love He gives freely. We celebrate His birth because He saved us in spite of ourselves.
I find the fact that Jesus loves me in spite of me to be incredibly comforting, especially in light of my anxiety disorder. It is often hard to imagine Jesus loving me when my mind and spirit are often filled with anxiety and fear. Many times for unknown reasons. However, who better to understand fear and anxiety than Jesus? He willingly went to the cross to die, and he was able to push through the incredible anxiety and fear that he was experiencing, and face death, to ensure we would spend eternity at his side. That to me is mind blowing! I can barely push through my anxiety when sitting in the middle of a movie theater row, let alone face death! We are so lucky to serve such an amazing God.
The second thing that comes to mind during the Christmas season, for me, is family. There is nothing more important to me than family. My family and I are incredibly close and we have so many traditions that we carry out every year. My mother makes cinnamon rolls that we have on Christmas morning. We exchange pajamas on Christmas Eve so we will look cute in our Christmas morning photos. We attend Christmas Eve Service together and watch loads of Christmas movies. It is an incredibly joyous time in our home(s) during this time of year. I feel so lucky because as I grow older, and work with more and more students of dysfunctional homes, I realize that not everyone is happy during this time of year. Not everyone has good memories of the holidays. The more these facts hit closer to my heart, I am more and more grateful for the life God has blessed me with.
Today, I fell even deeper in love with my family, because I happened to come across an old children’s book my mother use to read to us around this time of year (the Polar Express), and she read it to us! Let me remind you that I am 30 years old and my brother is 26. My mom, dad, brother and myself all squeezed into my parents bed (a king size thankfully) while she read it to us. There was lots of laughing and flashbacks to our childhood, but it truly was one of the most magical family moments we have ever had. I hope that I am able to give this type of happiness and togetherness to my children in the future.
As Christmas Day comes, I think we all need to remember the true reasons why we celebrate this holiday. It is easy to loose sight of its meaning when we are constantly bombarded with consumerism and selfishness. Take time to reflect on your blessings and give hugs to all those whom you love.