One of the books that I read this year was a fun one called "Christmas is not Your Birthday" by Michael Slaughter. (I'm writing at home, and the book is at my office, or I'd be able to include some quotes to make you ponder the meaning of life). But the title of the book says it all. Somehow Christmas has lost the magic of the celebration of the birth of a Baby who would grow up to change the world. The secular version is about giving, but more about the getting. Christmas Villages around the country have miniature versions of the North Pole, complete with elves making toys. City decoration judging committees look for the biggest light display, stores put up Christmas decorations starting right after the 4th of July, and it seems like the seasonal music starts long before the season does.
On the positive side, people are more interested in doing for others at this time of year, so interested that the available slots fill up quickly (but there are still plenty of openings from Feb thru Oct).
But Christmas is about more than Santa, lights, and Lady Gaga having issues with her Christmas Tree.
It's about students at local schools raising thousands of dollars for cancer research and to support families in need.
It's about the NDPA Lions collecting "gifts of warmth": coats, gloves, caps, and building 125 hygiene kits for the Rescue Mission.
It's about donations to the Pastor, with instructions to anonymously give to those who might need a little help.
It's about families who stage live Nativity displays for family, friends, neighbors and strangers to enjoy.
It's about many of the things that Charlie Trentelman, JaNae Francis and others have been writing about in the Standard Examiner over the past few weeks.
It's about 90,000 visitors to Bethlehem, the birthplace of Jesus, and the prayer that this will be the year that Palestine achieves statehood with all that implies: PEACE in the area as Muslims, Jews and Christians learn to live together.
Christmas is about a lot more than presents under the tree. It's about HOPE for a better future; it's about PEACE - an absence of war, but also an inner peace. It's about JOY, it's about LOVE, and it's about eternal LIFE. It's about the presence of a Savior, who reaches out to each of you and asks you to follow Him.
So celebrate the Christmas Season, and as you do, remember to keep Christ central in all you do. After all, it's Christmas- not your birthday