We are in the adult stage of our Christmas cycle. Our kids have grown and the joy of stocking stuffers or getting that toy you have been craving is not part of the game any more. Now gifts have a purpose and they tend to be more expensive and as a result there aren’t many of them.  

Right now, there isn’t a single wrapped box under the tree. Which at first glance may look kind of bleak, but I’m sure we will cycle back through and hopefully we’ll soon have a slew of grandkids and lots of gifts under that tree once again. 

I have to admit I enjoyed watching the excitement in the kids’ eyes on Christmas morning, but I think I like this kind of Christmas better. It truly is a time for spending time with the family and for celebrating the birth of Christ. Celebrating the greatest gift of all time is awesome, and getting to spend time with your family is one great secondary gift. 

I’m not one of those who decry the materialism or even pagan roots of Christmas. To me, Christmas has always been about Christ, family, spending time together, and expressing your love. I like the joy of the Christmas season, because it makes us focus on what is truly important.  

I also like the Christmas traditions. The Christmas Eve church service, reading the Christmas story out of the Bible around the tree are blessings to truly be remembered. Our family always reads the Christmas Rifle story each Christmas as well. The kids divide it up and each read a third of it. I don’t participate because I can’t read that darn story without crying, and I’ve probably read it 50 times. We have oyster stew on Christmas Eve; I think I’m the only one in the family who actually likes it, but it is tradition and there is value in that. 

An arctic blast is supposed to reach us this weekend, so we may or may not have a white Christmas, but we definitely will have a cold one. There is something about chopping ice on Christmas morning that is kind of magical. 

I know that family and friends should be a priority every day, and that the gift of salvation and our relationship with Christ is something that should be celebrated every day. I don’t think we forget, but the daily whirlwind of life can’t be ignored. It is simply put on hold for a few days as we gather together and confirm what it is truly important and of value each year.  

I’m not sure what it is about the nativity scene that touches me so much. Perhaps it is the animals, the manger, the shepherds, the brightness of that star, or the beauty of that newborn and what he represents. Such a humble beginning for the king of kings. 

I hope you have something wonderful under the tree, but know it can’t compare to the gift of Christ’s birth or the joy of having family home for Christmas. Merry Christmas to you all!