Saturday, December 17, 2011

The True Gift of Christmas

When our children were small we had a Christmas tradition in our home we called “family union”. On Christmas morning our two boys would come and get in bed with us. After several minutes of joking about Santa not being able to find our house, we would go to the tree to see what gifts they could find.

One Christmas following our family union time, we jumped up and raced into the living room, where the tree was located. Our eldest son was receiving a television for his room. Because of the cost of the television, he was getting practically no other gifts. The television was his Christmas.

The television was sitting on the coffee table across from the tree. He immediately wanted to turn it on. The cord was not long enough to reach the outlet. In my bull in a china shop manner, I picked up the table and the TV together and attempted to move it closer to an outlet. The freshly polished table was slick, causing the television to slip to the floor. The front hit first, breaking all of the dials and making the television useless.

You can imagine the impact on a ten-year old boy, when his entire Christmas was rendered useless. He ran to his room in tears and crawled to the foot of his bed. I joined him and we soaked his sheets with our tears. His heart was broken and so was mine. Finally, I was able to assure him the television could be fixed. I sought his forgiveness for being so careless. He was far more forgiving of me than I was of myself.

That year Christmas came on Sunday. After everyone had calmed down, we dressed for church. As we rode to church, I reflected upon the morning. I thought of the fragile nature of the things we get all excited about. We sometimes allow the commercial aspects of Christmas to detract us from the part of Christmas that is forever. I thought of the true gift of Christmas, the gift of God’s Son. I was grateful the true gift of Christmas could not be broken or taken away once it had been received. While these thoughts did not relieve my hurt for my son’s broken TV, they did give me a better perspective on the situation.

Do not allow worldly distractions spoil your Christmas. Guard against being overcome by all the festivities of the season to the point of neglecting the One it is all about. Strive to really keep Christ at the center of your focus. If you do, God will be honored and you will be blessed.

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