James 1:17 – Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning. (NKJV)
Since my dad passed away three years ago, Christmas at our house has been very different. We do the family get-together about two or three weeks before Christmas, and the family comes for dinner. As Christmas approaches, though, our house becomes a beehive of five people packing to go camping in Florida for about three weeks. We have stayed in three different places over the past three years, and we are planning our trip again this December. The gifts are minimal, as the trip is our gift to each other.
Christmas Eve finds us in a local church. In line with tradition, the boys open one gift on Christmas Eve, which somehow manages to be pyjamas. Christmas dinner is done the same as at home with turkey and all the trimmings. The camping aspect does have its challenges, so we do it in a simpler way. We have swum on Christmas day, and we have opened our gifts in the rain.
The one thing, though, that has never changed is the reason that we celebrate Christmas: the birth of our Saviour Jesus. So it doesn't matter where we are, how we celebrate, whether we have all the gifts and traditions of the past, or even whether every member of our extended family is present. What matters is the real reason for the season, and that is Jesus Christ. We will have many an opportunity to be a witness to the other campers as to who Jesus is in our lives.
Luke 2:7 – And she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn. (NIV)
Prayer: Dear God, thank You for the gift of Your Son, Jesus. Thank You for the simple way that He came into the world for us. Help us, God, to show this to others this Christmas: that the simple Christmas is all about You. Help us to share with our actions and our words a testimony of who You are in our lives. In Jesus' name, we pray. Amen.