What does Christmas mean to you? This question is one that I've been challenged with over the last several weeks. My "good Christian answer" is that Christmas is the celebration of Jesus' birth. Sadly, what I've discovered, is that for me Christmas means special foods, pretty decorations (that match my decor), twinkly Christmas lights, cold weather, and a pretty Christmas outfit.
Being here in Nicaragua has stripped me of most of these things. I have struggled with "getting into" the Chrismtas spirit. Granted, this is our first Christmas not celebrated in the States...and we are still in a season of adjustment...but, the conviction remains. What does Christmas mean to me? Is it the pretty decorations or is it truly the celebration that Jesus--Emmanuel--God WITH US-- was born in a manger to later die for my sins (and yours), and be raised to life that I may be adopted into the family of God?
What concerns me is -- will I just replace my former meanings of Christmas with new meanings here in Nicaragua? Will I look to buy Nica Christmas decorations (that match my decor)? Will I continue to make Christmas a "feeling"? What I am starting to realize is that along with putting up the Christmas tree every year, I will need to take the "things that feel Christmas" out of the manger and put Jesus in their place. Traditions are good. Celebrating in special ways is exemplified in Scripture. However, are we celebrating the celebration or the Guest of Honor? What does Christmas mean to you?
posted by bethany