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Let Us Not Leave Christ Out of Christmas

Wendy Gladney

Upland, CA

Recently, we celebrated our youngest grandchild’s birthday and what a festive occasion it was, presents, cake, ice cream and a wonderfully good time. Although birthdays can be a festive time, they should be more than an occasion to have a party and receive gifts. It is a time to acknowledge the anniversary of your birth. I take my birthdays seriously, for me it is a time I use to thank God for my life, and even more importantly a time to thank him for still being alive. I use it as a time to reflect and rethink the purpose of my life to make sure I am on track. It is also a great time to make updated plans for the future. It is the day when your past intersects with your present and future. The reason I am talking so much about birthdays is because Christmas is the birthday of Jesus Christ. With the excitement of the holidays, it is easy to get caught up in the madness of the malls, the marketing of commercialism and the magic of Santa and leave Christ out of Christmas. Let us be intentional of not leaving him out. Celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ should be an expression of our thanks for his beginning. He is a gift to the world; He is God wrapped in human flesh. You may wonder how do we keep Christ in Christmas? Since it is his birthday, we can give him gifts by sharing with those who are in need and are less fortunate than us. There are charitable organizations that specialize in providing food, clothes, and toys for those in need. We can make donations directly to these organizations and sometimes they even have a process where you can be hands on and deliver the gifts directly to specific families. If you get stuck, you can always check with your local church or Angel Tree, the organization that provides gifts for children whose parents are incarcerated. The person you could help might just be a family member, a neighbor down the street, or a stranger you may meet along the way. Oftentimes we do not have to look too far to find someone that could use a kind word and a helping hand.

Blessing others this holiday season with your time, talents, or treasures is a way to keep Christ in Christmas. Christmas is a wonderful time to open the door to new mercies by mending relationships, reconnecting with loved ones, extending forgiveness towards someone who may have hurt you, and even working on our own spiritual commitment. When you send out holiday greeting cards you can make sure they include a message around the birth of Christ or a scripture to show your commitment to keeping the reason for the season. Of course, you can also include a nativity scene to your decorations and the Star of David to shine a bright light on the scenery. While there are other faiths and groups that celebrate during this time of year such as our Jewish friends celebrating Hanukkah, and Kwanzaa is right around the corner to just name a few, for Christians Christmas is a time that celebrates the birth of the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords. I wish all of you a Merry Christmas and a blessed New Year and remember do not leave Christ out of Christmas this year!

Healing Without Hate: It’s a choice. It’s a lifestyle. Pass it on.

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