Christmas - It's only the Beginning

Tuesday, December 24, 2013 Posted by Lisa Arnold

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Being ready for Christmas can be a challenge, even to a mature Christian. The hardest part of the season for me is not the pressure retailers put on our family or feeling the need to go here and there or go to yet one more get together. It’s not the decorations or the shopping or the gift wrapping or even the average weight gain.  (Yikes)  For me the challenge is the “after” Christmas when presents have been unwrapped and social media is full of who-can-put-Christmas-away-the-fastest. It pains me to see how much joy people have to “finally put away the clutter” or threaten to “scream if one more Christmas song is played”.

Why? Because I look forward to Christmas for its simplicity and complexity.  Not that others don’t, but I long to savor and drink in the moments of quiet reflection, long after the calendar gives permission. I love the reminder our tree gives us of traditions adopted by faith and adapted by families. For me, it’s difficult to understand why others don’t see it that way. But I have to remind myself that Christmas isn’t about the decorations or the egg nog or the presents.  Christmas is not IN those things.

Yes, just like in Whoville, Christmas trees and decorations and presents can be cleaned up and whisked away but that doesn’t mean something…or Someone has been taken from me.

Ultimately, Christmas entered this world through the most basic and primal of all human experiences – childbirth.  Christmas was born just like you and me, innocent and helpless wrapped in swaddling clothes.  There is nothing simpler than a baby because a baby brings hope and visions of a better tomorrow.  And the baby whose birth we celebrate is God himself, the author of Hope, the Promise Keeper of better tomorrows.  

No lit up Christmas tree can ever give me that.

This Christmas, after everything is cleaned and put away, try to take some time to reflect on the greatest story ever told. Remember the wooden trough our Lord laid in was just the beginning.     



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