Life Lesson: You Can’t Have It All Without Christ

CHRIST IS ALL.jpgIt’s officially crazy holiday shopping season. Thanksgiving has come and gone and the spirit of spend, spend, spend is upon us. My email inbox is flooded with deals, deals, and more deals. Each email I get is tugging me to go shop here and spend this. Each offer is nice and inviting but once I really take a moment away from the rustling and bustling of holiday hustle I realize how much of a black hole the holiday season can be. I also realize I need to start unsubscribing from some emails…

Growing up my parents never place great emphasis on the typical Christmas celebration of Santa Claus, elves, and How the Grinch Stole Christmas. Though we entertained ourselves on those snowy days with wonderful Hallmark and family movies about spreading cheer and giving, their primary goal was to give us the true gift that Christ gave us.

I’m pretty confident that everyone knows the Birth of Jesus Christ. It’s a story that never gets old. Mary and Joseph do the unthinkable and start on a journey leading them to the King of Kings. Most people probably thought they were crazy! I for one can’t imagine trying to spend the first year of my marriage preparing for a baby. Most newlyweds are still trying to get situated and pick a family toothpaste. All of their sacrifices allowed them to be honored as the parents of the King of the World. They didn’t have much, in fact, when he was born he was in kind of a bind. Mary had to deliver Jesus in a barn filled with random smells, various animals, and not a single Christmas tree or decorated stocking.

Yet, what they lacked in careers, home, lifestyle, and finances, Jesus Christ made up for it. It’s not Christmas because the wise man came with gifts, the shepherds came to awe, and the drummer boy played. It’s Christmas because of Jesus Christ being born.

So, this holiday season I’m unsure of which direction I should go in regards to gift shopping. I started this post thinking I couldn’t have it all. I thought after scrolling through my favorite stores online, seeing all the great sales, discounts and realizing that everything my eyes sees and wants my pockets can’t guarantee. But now, after reminiscing about Jesus’s birth my eyes are opened and I know that I can have it all!

I have it all the moment I gave my life to Jesus Christ. The moment he was born in a manager by a virgin was when I could have it all. I could have joy, peace, freedom, love, victory, life abundantly. So, though I might only buy a couple of items from a store or two, I refuse to let that change how I view how blessed I am.

 

Life Moment: Christmas Eve

 

Christmas was always a conflicting time for me when I was younger. I struggled with celebrating Christmas because of Santa Claus. As a Christian, I loved celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ. On the other hand, those classic entertaining stories of “How The Grinch Stole Christmas,” “Santa Claus” movies (the Tim Allen version is my favorite) and “Jack Frost” has always been a warm way of celebrating the winter season. I always felt like I was cheating on Jesus if I celebrated Santa, hung a decorated tree, and sung about grandma getting ran over by a reindeer. But no one wants to be the oddball not giving or receiving any shiny, decorative gifts. Maybe it’s just me but I felt like I was serving two masters.

I never could pick a side. At school, I was the Santa Claus loving, ho, ho, ho, and jingle bells girl. At church, I would sing hymns, learn about the meaning of the star and participate in Sunday School plays.  Don’t get me wrong, I love Christmas music and the flashy decorations but I always knew that the real reason for Christmas was Jesus Christ being born. I don’t know about you but I always felt conflicted about celebrating Christmas the “Santa” way and the “Jesus” way. Have you? Not anymore!

I love the nativity story about Mary and Joseph having baby Jesus in the manager. It is dramatic and compelling and shows me that anything beautiful and good can come out of a bad situation. Mary’s integrity and reputation were on the line when she agreed to carry the Savior. Back then, having a baby out of wedlock was actually a bad thing! Not to mention, Joseph was probably feeling hurt and betrayed.

He assumed that Mary was cheating and was almost ready to get rid of her. It’s beautiful how Joseph looked past her current state and saw the promise of God in her life. He didn’t look at where she was, what others said, but had trust in God that everything will work out. They both started out with nothing and still loved and respected each other. Their character, reputation and marriage was tested. Mary and Joseph walked in total confidence in God. They had the entire world against and they didn’t let that stop them from being the best spouse and parent they could be.

Now how can Santa compete with that! I mean, yeah, he brings all the good children amazing toys and the bad children get coal. But Jesus’s gift is for everyone. Good or bad, right or wrong, everyone can get a gift from Jesus. Santa Claus is a nice guy and everything but at a certain age, unless you never grow up, he starts to become irrelevant. While as Jesus Christ never gets old. I mean he grows up to die for all mankind. Santa Claus mainly drinks cocoa and cookies. The most credit I will give Santa is he is an incredible entrepreneur. Makes me laugh because as loving and kindhearted as Santa can be, he is nothing compared to Jesus Christ.