My idea of Christmas was challenged as I began to have a closer look at my faith. For 18 years of my life I believed that Christmas was like Diwali. There are lights everywhere, people visit each other and exchange gifts, etc. The main figure is of course, Santa, throwing candies to us at our school. It’s his hat that we wanted to possess, he was everywhere in the marketplace and yes, he is super cute!
But I couldn’t quite figure out why they would show a movie of Jesus on our TV channel every Christmas. This part was not as enjoyable as seeing Santa or even enjoying few carols with my colony friends. The next best part was the rum cake that some of my friends brought home to my family. So for me Christmas was all about Santa, rum cake and carols.
In the coming years as I entered into a relationship with Jesus Christ, it became my quest to set this thinking right. With all this lopsided attention on Santa and other “Christmassy” attractions, I felt there was a huge injustice done to Christ and the real focus of Christmas. I didn't want to go through one more Christmas with distractions defining it for me. I started to align my thinking with God’s thinking on Christmas. His Word became my only resource to set things right.
I started to read through the gospels, as all of them talk about the coming of Jesus on this earth. It became clear to me that Christmas marks the significance of the birth of Christ. This Saviour who was born to give us a new birth, a life that we are meant to live out. I understood that Christmas celebrates the work of God through Christ - the opportunity provided to each human being to reconcile with their Creator. Christmas reflects God’s love and His magnificence.
I understood that Christmas celebrates the character of Christ. A character full of faithfulness and humility. Philippians 2: 6-8 says that Christ, "though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross."
Christ by coming into this earth displayed faithfulness to His father and to His brother and sisters who were groaning to be free from slavery of sin. He humbled himself and took on humanity, exemplifying what it means to consider others more than your own self.
Christmas has become so much more to me now. As I understand these truths more and more, it adds not only to my celebrations but also to my faith in Christ. His birth and life carry a meaning which does not stop when the rum cake is over or the lights have been taken down-- it continues to thrive and give hope. His character cannot be contained in a month or a date. Christmas magnifies and celebrates God’s love, His glorious works and His never changing character.
So now for me, Christmas is forever and every day a reason to celebrate.