The meaning of the Christmas season

The Christmas season covers many different things. Old memories, traditions, emotions, holiday shopping trips, parties, contacting old friends, mailing packages and cards and of course sales galore fill our time.

Wait a minute. Something is missing here. Christmas should begin with Christ. The birth of Christ more than 2,000 years ago changed for all time the life we, as believers, are able to live. God had mercy on us when he sent Jesus Christ, his son, to be born to a virgin to live, preach, teach and be crucified in order for us to have everlasting life.

In everyone’s life there will be troubles such as death of loved ones, addiction, heartbreak, poor health, job loss, divorce, abuse, overwhelming bills, recession, broken appliances and vehicles – the list goes on and on from the worst to the least.

It seems to me that we never fully appreciate all the blessings we do have until troubles occur. We stand on the outside looking in when we just need to jump into the middle of the fray. A neighbor might need financial help, prayer or something as simple as a wave and a kind word. Remember that old song, “Behind Closed Doors?” Well, we truly do not know what’s happening in someone else’s home.

Christmas to me is love, salvation, hope, security and comfort, a time to reflect, plan and remember. What is your best memory? Perhaps it’s dinner at your grandparents, a family vacation, candy and cookie making, visiting relatives, lots of games, warm fires, wrapping gifts and looking at neighbors’ decorations. Maybe it’s snow, sleds and wet gloves and shoes.

As a child I loved the midnight services, the flannel board with the vivid description of Mary and Joseph traveling and seeking lodging for Jesus’ birth. Of course, the yummy desserts in the church basement were always popular with everyone. Christmas plays and choir concerts, caroling and visiting the “old folks’ home” for caroling were part of my childhood in Andalusia. How the folks loved to see us coming!

I hate that the birth of Jesus has been so commercialized. Who can buy the most seems to be the motto these days. Give me some good food, a reading of the Christmas story and lots of family and friends and love. A warm fire, my grandkids playing nearby, the fragrance of candles, the “green” smell of the tree, stockings on the mantel and our Christmas candlelight communion at our church are some of my favorite things.

Let’s all make a commitment to do better, act better and live better through Jesus Christ our savior. Listen carefully for the chorus of angels announcing the birth of Jesus.

He truly is the reason for the season. Merry Christmas!

Community columnist Sandra Thames can be reached by e–mail at bobthames1942@yahoo.com.