Image: Unsplash
Image: Unsplash

Celebrating the reason for the season

There’s only a couple of days left until Christmas, and the closer we get, the more excited I become. I love everything about Christmas. I love planning what to buy my friends and family, I love decorating the tree, and I love watching every Christmas special I can find.

Whilst I definitely embrace some of the more secular aspects of the season, they don’t take away from its true meaning, which for me is celebrating the birth of Jesus. Christmas is truly a celebration and a time of joy for everyone. For Christians in particular, it celebrates Jesus’ birth which was prophesied throughout the Old Testament. Easter is the actually the more significant of the Christian celebrations as it marks Jesus dying on the cross and rising again to take our punishment for us, whereas, Christmas is the celebration of Jesus coming to earth to live a fully human life, while being fully God. The saviour promised for generations to God’s people.

Whilst I definitely embrace some of the more secular aspects of the season, they don’t take away from its true meaning, which for me is celebrating the birth of Jesus

The start of the Christmas season, Advent, is more than simply getting paper cuts to retrieve one chocolate a day. For Christians, it symbolises the time spent waiting for Jesus’ birth. A time when God’s people were trusting in His promises to be fulfilled. My church celebrates Advent with four candles for the four Sundays leading up to Christmas. The first week one candle is lit, the second two and so on. This is accompanied with different Bible readings about the Christmas story and the time spent waiting for Jesus’ birth.

 The Christmas festivities begin on Christmas Eve. My church holds an annual carol concert, and it is usually the busiest service of the year. The service is full of Christmas classics, with an incredible atmosphere of anticipation and celebration. The church is usually decorated with greenery, and covered with candles and fairy lights. The classic carols we sing are commonplace in British culture, but ring true for Christians. ‘Joy to the world, the Lord is come.’ Everyone is anticipating everything coming tomorrow. I love having a time on Christmas Eve where we’re not manically peeling vegetables for the following day, or dealing with the chaos of having family over. It’s a time to reflect on why we celebrate this holiday in the first place.

  I love having a time on Christmas Eve where we’re not manically peeling vegetables for the following day, or dealing with the chaos of having family over. It’s a time to reflect on why we celebrate this holiday in the first place

Christmas morning is still just as exciting for me as it was as a child. Our morning always starts with opening a few presents, breakfast, and going to church. Two church services within 12 hours may sound like a lot, but both have slightly different focuses. Usually on Christmas Day, we hear a message of hope about Jesus’ birth. His birth brought hope to a nation of people who had been promised a saviour. It’s an example of how God keeps His promises to us. I also love having the chance to see my friends and my church family and celebrating together. This service is also full of people, and children brandishing whatever toys they got that year.

The rest of the day we spend with family, eating, opening presents, and just enjoying spending time together. We definitely let ourselves get caught up in the modern secular view of Christmas in that we see on TV and in society. But that’s not all that Christmas is. We also celebrate the bigger picture of Jesus coming into the world for us.

 In the words of CS Lewis: ‘The Son of God became man to enable men to become sons of God.’ This for me, is definitely a reason to celebrate.

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