Well, he wants my heart. I may think I have that one covered since I gave my life to Him and became his follower long ago, but does the way I "do Christmas" reflect spiritual transformation, or are my celebrations awash in materialism and consumerism with a little "Jesus stuff" thrown in here and there for good measure?
I am teaching my daughters that Jesus is worthy of all their love and devotion and of supreme importance in their lives. But when Mika and Macy see me running like a little hamster in an elf hat on a red and green wheel, spinning furiously, trying to keep up with everyone else and then dragging myself off about midnight on Christmas Eve, frazzled, frantic, frustrated, and fried, what am I really teaching them?
After much thought and some soul searching, I found Advent Conspiracy (http://www.adventconspiracy.com/) and, in the words of Oprah, had an "ah-ha moment." They are about getting back to basics at Christmas, and their goals are simple:
Obviously, implementation of these goals is going to look quite different in each person's/family's life. Let me give you just a few ideas that my family has:
In any case, when we realized we could donate the $150 to Water is Basic (http://www.waterisbasic.org/) and help to provide clean drinking water for people in Sudan, we decided this was a better return on investment in the long run.
Jesus was a servant: he came to serve. So, what better way to honor him than to serve others with a heart full of gratitude for the his extravagant gift to us, over 2000 years ago? We are planning several volunteer projects that we can do as a family.
Amazingly, and I really can't explain it, but when our family takes the time to love and care for others who are less fortunate, it seems like this time is multiplied back to us! Also, the love we share greatly increases the joy and peace we feel in our hearts. It is a win-win proposition!
We don't have this all figured out; we are just trying to find some ways to tweak our Christmas celebrations and traditions to reflect the heart of our Savior. There are moments I think we go too far, moments I think we don't go far enough, and moments I feel that we're in the right spot for us.