Are you a Christmas Eve person or a Christmas Day person? In other words, do you have your big celebration on Christmas Eve, or on Christmas Day?
It’s funny how different families develop different traditions. Wanda’s family was a Christmas Eve family. They had their special meal and opened the presents on Christmas Eve. My family was a Christmas Day family. We opened the presents Christmas morning and had the big meal at noon. Which is, of course, the proper way to do it. Don’t get me wrong, I love the Christmas Eve church service with the story from the Bible and the candles and everything. But you have to wait until Christmas morning to open your presents because Santa doesn’t come until you go to bed on Christmas Eve. Everyone knows that.
Kidding aside, while it’s interesting to see how different families develop their own traditions, in the long run it truly does not matter. Celebrate Christmas at whatever time works best. What really matters is, what happens now? What happens when it’s December 29th or so?
What happens for a lot of people is that they move on with their lives. Yes, there are a few who’ll leave the Christmas decorations up for a few more days. Some of us will decide that it’s still the Christmas season until Epiphany, which is January 6. But then, a lot of people will move on. Christmas will be packed up and put away. We’ll go on with our lives as if nothing had happened.
And, for some people, nothing will have happened. They’ll go back to living their lives like they did before Christmas. They’ll have had a good time, they’ll have had some good food and maybe a nice time with family and friends, but that all they’ll have had. Christmas will have had no impact on their lives.
That’s too bad. I’m not mad at them or anyhing, and I don’t think God is mad at them, either. It’s just that they’re missing out on so much. If the coming of the Savior has no impact on our lives, if it’s just a good time that we have once a year and then move on from, we’re missing out. We’re missing out on the chance to feel God’s Spirit in our lives. We’re missing out on the chance to feel God guiding us, helping us through life. We’re missing out on the incredible miracle of God’s love. We’re missing out on knowing that we’re not God’s servants, we’re God’s children, and that God loves us the way good parents love their children. God loves us so much that God, in the form of Jesus Christ, literally died for us. That’s an amazing love to have in our lives. It’s sad when people miss out on it.
I hope you’re not missing out on it. If you are, please let me know, so we can talk about it. If you know someone who is, please try to talk to them about it. I know it’s hard to do. It can be a difficult conversation to have. But try anyway. It’s important. If we care about people, the most loving thing we can do for them is try to help them feel God’s love.
People have to make their own decisions, but we need to do what we can. People need to know God’s love. People need to accept Jesus as their Savior. Jesus told us to go and make disciples. Don’t let anyone you care about miss out. And make sure you don’t miss out, too.