Christmas, it means so much to so many people. What does it mean to you?
Well, one little boy was being very naughty just around Christmas time. His mother was very upset with him and said, "Go to your room! When your father comes home, you're going to get it!" How many of us heard that growing up huh?
Well the little boy knew what he was in for. He knew that his dad would really spank him upon his arrival home. With his head down in despair, he climbed the stairs to the second floor and went into his room.
As he sat on his bed thinking, he got an idea. "I'll write a letter to Jesus"
So he went to his little desk, pulled out a sheet of paper and a pencil and started his letter to Jesus.
"Dear Jesus," he began, "If you don't let my father spank me, I'll be good all the time". He paused, 'No, that's not going to work. Sometimes it's fun being bad"
Crumpling the paper up, he tossed it in the trash and took out another sheet. He began to write: "Dear Jesus, If you don't let my father spank me, I'll be good to my sister from now on" He paused for a moment and thought, no she's fun to pick on.
Crumpling up this sheet of paper and disposing of it. He took out another, but before writing, he started to think really hard about how to ask Jesus for help.
Looking around his room, he smiled at all the Christmas decorations that he carefully placed around it. Snowflakes on the wall made from paper. The very small Christmas tree that was on his bureau, the shinny garland that surrounded the windows and the stick-on figures placed carefully on the windows but his attention was drawn back to his bureau.
For sitting next to that little Christmas tree, was a nativity set and an idea popped into his head. He cautiously looked around the room. Tiptoed over the bureau and picked up the little figurine of Mary from the Nativity set.
He looked around the room, this way and that to be sure no one was watching. Taking a handkerchief out of top drawer of the bureau, he carefully wrapped the little figurine into it. Again looking around, he opened another drawer and hid the wrapped parcel in the back of the drawer. Covering it carefully and deliberately with other clothes.
Walking back to his desk he sat down. With a smile, he took up his pencil and started to write once more.
Dear Jesus, he began, if you ever want to see your mother again….
For me, I am reminded of the times growing up in New York. My grandfather owned a TV repair store.
Right after Thanksgiving we would begin decorating the store for Christmas as most of the stores did.
It was a family thing for us. I remember well the giant plastic bells of silver and gold that we hung around the store and in the windows up front. My mom would decorate those windows, carefully placing empty boxes that were wrapped in Christmas paper. My grandmother was an expert at making bows and wrapping gifts.
Each showcase gleamed with various decorations of some sort. Plastic Santa and reindeer adorned many of the big console TV's and Radios.
Big bows placed on the refrigerators and ribbons hung throughout the store abd EVERONE said Merry Christmas. Even the Jewish community that would come into the store would wish you a Merry Christmas.
Ah but Christmas eve would come. We lived above the store in my early years. Everyone would come over. All the relatives would be there on Christmas eve to exchange gifts this way on Christmas Day they would be with their own families on that blessed morning. Even though we were not rich, my mom and dad did their best to be sure that I had a great Christmas. I got a drum set one Christmas and was thrilled to be playing with my dad on his guitar and his friends when they came over.
Oh yes Christmas was special, everyone was in the Christmas spirit. TV shows galore, oh yes that reminds me, Christmas eve, channel 11 had the yule log. A fireplace at Gracie Mansion burned a huge log and we got to watch in on the TV.
Stations would play every version of A Christmas Carol that they could find. Not to mention the Charlie Brown, Grinch, Rudolf, Santa Clause is coming to town specials that were on.
But now, take a look at how it is changed.
Christmas decorations start hitting the stores before Thanksgiving. Many of which were open on that day.
The cheap commercialism of the day buries us in complacency. We are no longer overcome with the meaning of Christmas, it has been lost in the political correctness of the world.
We don't want to offend anyone so we are forbidden to say "Merry Christmas" yes forbidden. I as a store manager I was told by corporate, never to say that as it might offend those who don't believe it.
You know what I did. Yup, "Merry Christmas" came out of my mouth to my customers. Funny, no one complained.
On TV, we do not see those classic shows anymore. Some have been banned because of wokeism.
I heard something yesterday, it was only a blip but I didn't have time to research it that "The Santa Clause" movies are being banned. Why not eh? They banned cartoons because of one thing or another. DR. Seuss was banned so why not?
Now, many of the "Christmas" movies, have very little to do with Christmas at all. Movies of love around the holidays are packaged as "Christmas" movies but they are not.
Anything that has to do with Christmas is being removed or told to shut up. The true meaning of the day is lost in the crass commercialism.
We have holidays in Feburary, do we say Happy Holidays then? No we say Happy Valentines.
It seems that only Christmas is under attack. We have let the political correctness hinder our ability to say Merry Christmas. Why.
They want to do away with Christmas because it is a celebration of the birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
Now, do we know if Jesus was actually born on December 25th? No, we cannot place the date accurately but it matters not. The day is not as important as its meaning.
Do you realize the God who created the heavens and the earth by the mere words of his mouth, became flesh and dwelt among men? That is the true meaning of the day. John says in his gospel, "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has be made. The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only who came from the Father, full of grace and truth. (John 1:1-3, 14 NIV)
We all know the Christmas story, Joseph and Mary, the manger, the shepards but do we realize the significance of it. If we look in the Old Testament we see the shadows of the New Testament. In the days leading up to Jesus' death on the cross, the only way that a person could make atonement for their sins was to bring a sacrifice to a priest. That person would confess his or her sins and the animal was killed for that person. The sacrificial lamb had to be perfect, not a spot or a blemish on it. It was consdered a holy thing before, during and after its death for the sin of the offender.
Jesus was born and gave Himself as the sacrificial lamb. His offering to God would atone for the sins of everyone who believes in Him. "The next day John (the baptist) saw Jesus coming toward him and said, "Look, the Lamb of GOD, who takes away the sin of the world!" (John 1:19 NIV) Jesus' death on that cross was the sacrifice that would atone for the sin of Adam and restore a right relationship with God the Father. While on the cross, Jesus said, Father forgive them for they don't know what they are doing, He wasn't just talking about the Roman soldiers, he looking down through history and was looking at you and me.
Now here is a interesting note, when Jesus said, "It is finished" and died, the veil in the temple that separated the Holy of Holies was torn in two. Like two big hands ripped it open. Which was very difficult considering the size and weight of it. This now exposed the Most Holy Place. The meaning? Who so ever will may come now into the presence of God. It was not limited to juset the high priest anymore.
So as we draw closer to December 25th, remember, don't be afraid of what people may say, you are not responsible for how other people feel. Christmas is a Christian Holiday and we as believers celebrate the birth of the Savior who gave His life to take away our sins and give us eternal life with God in heaven.
To quote Scroog'e's nephew Fred, “‘There are many things from which I might have derived good, by which I have not profited, I dare say,’ returned the nephew. ‘Christmas among the rest. But I am sure I have always thought of Christmas time, as a good time; a kind, forgiving, charitable, pleasant time; the only time I know of, in the long calendar of the year, when men and women seem by one consent to open their shut-up hearts freely, and to think of people below them as if they really were fellow-passengers to the grave, and not another race of creatures bound on other journeys. And therefore, uncle, though it has never put a scrap of gold or silver in my pocket, I believe that it has done me good, and will do me good; and I say, God bless it!‘
God Bless all of you this Christmas.