Years ago I had a pin that I wore on my coat that said, “Jesus is the reason for the season.” But the phrase has become a bit worn and faded – not just on my pin but in my heart.
I know I want to keep Christ in Christmas, but I want to invite him in a new way, a way that is deeper than a slogan. So, I started asking others how they made room for Jesus in the most hectic time of the year, a time when calendars and to-do lists are full.
One friend bakes and makes things with her hands. Slowing down and giving of yourself sounds a lot like Jesus to me. Another friend goes each year to visit a living nativity scene so that each year she can see the story come to life. And her small decorative nativity scenes? She places them throughout her house so she has a bit of the Jesus story in every room.
My co-worker buys each of her children three gifts and wraps one in gold paper as a nod to the gifts from the three Wise Men. Others make birthday cakes for Jesus or set a place for him at the table. So often I talk about the spiritual – the unseeable – and there is value in traditions like this that we can touch, see and taste.
Person after person told me that they give to charity as a way to honor Christ, who cherishes us all. I heard of a family that allots a certain amount of money per family member and each person decides where to donate his or her portion. On Christmas, they gather to tell where and why they gave. Can you imagine the joy in the room?
Then, there’s the church that delivers boxes of doughnuts around the community on Christmas Eve. They make stops at places like hospitals, hotels and homes for veterans, and they include a card with a simple message telling people that they are loved. Is that really so different than the message that came to the manger?
I have no idea what became of my pin, but my heart already feels better about Christmas.