Sometimes even Christians forget that the festive season is a celebration of Jesus and not the latest sales on the high street. Here, writer Shakira Peronet, asks if your plans for the big day look like Christmas or more like Xmas.
Who will be at the centre of your Christmas this year? Whether you’re Christian or not, everyone knows that December 25, is Jesus’ birthday aka Christmas Day. Yet over the years Christmas has become so commercialised that it seems like there’s no real religious connotation with the date at all.
When I think of Christmas I think of cute markets selling artisan goods, cozy fires after being outside in the cold, mulled hot drinks, feasting and napping. And then I remember - “oh and the birth of Jesus of course”.
For many of us celebrating his birth is reserved for the pulpit, when we hear that one pre-Christmas service and the adorable (or repetitive) performance that the kids do each year. Then we go back to doing what everyone else does. So often, as Christians, we gather together less during this season so that we can be with our biological families. It’s ironic really.
Is there any real difference between Christmas and Xmas anymore?
Queuing up at the shops, complaining about the price of gifts, buying enough food to last a week, eating so much that we sleep in the middle of the day while another festive film plays in the background. Is there any real difference between Christmas and Xmas anymore? Or is it really just one very long week of indulgence and then waking up to a brand New Year?
This year I’m really connecting with the fact that I’m celebrating Jesus’ birthday… and making sure that Jesus himself is at the centre of his party - as he should! So what could a Christian Christmas really be like?
Yes, I know it’s unlikely that Jesus was born in December and all that, but if we were to put Christ at the centre of Christ-mas… I imagine it would go a bit like this…
Who did Jesus love spending time with? The outcasts! (Luke 15:1-2, Luke 19:1-6,) Whether it’s members of your family that have mysteriously drifted away or the old lady on your street that looks out of her window far too often and speaks to nobody… I imagine these people would be top of the Jesus Christmas dinner guest list.
Let’s spend time in prayer and meditating on a passage of scripture before rushing around trying to get the turkey in the oven in time.
How does Jesus love to spend his time? Jesus loved being filled up by his time with God and then pouring into others. (Luke 5:16) If Jesus needed to withdraw often I think we do too (even more so!). Let’s spend time in prayer and meditating on a passage of scripture before rushing around trying to get the turkey in the oven in time. Like Mary “choose what is better” (Luke 10:41-42).
So let’s make sure this year we pull out all the stops and truly celebrate the birthday of Jesus and together let’s put Christ back into Christmas.