Christmas, The Real Reason
The festive period has come to stay and has been accepted worldwide as a kind of holiday season. A perfect time to take a break from much of what life brings, the hustle and bustle of everyday living and the showing of love. But are we really at rest at Christmas?
As the wiki writer puts it;
Popular modern customs of the holiday include gift giving, completing an Advent calendar or Advent wreath, Christmas music and caroling, lighting a Christingle, viewing a Nativity play, an exchange of Christmas cards, church services, a special meal, and the display of various Christmas decorations, including Christmas trees, Christmas lights, nativity scenes, garlands, wreaths, mistletoe, and holly.
Christmas is far more, right?
Like a sunny hot winter day, it makes no sense if it’s not cold. Sub – zero thermostat in the midst of summer – the locals will complain.
It’s not enough to be jolly, not quite if it’s only shared with loved ones around a turkey table. If Christmas is gifts alone, what about the ultimate giver?
In a certain culture, they say a child who receives a gift and fails to appreciate the giver might not receive another. In other words, the giver may no longer delight in that child – although in contrasts, I know a Giver who never lose faith in the receiver regardless of attitude or lack of gratitude. So is the season a reason for gifts? If children only know Christmas as an old white-bearded man dressed in red tucks (able to distinguish between the ‘all year round’ good & naughty kids), how then can season of joy be used to punish the unruly?
My Christmas Story
Growing up, our peculiar family tradition was that every Christmas, every child will get a new piece of clothing to wear.
It didn’t matter if cash was tight or turkey was reduced to a swimming tail animal, we just have to have a new dress. Period! No debate!!
Plus if you’ve been extra obedient that year and most importantly passed your school promotional exams with exceptional grades, you can expect an over the top extra-special gift.
Soon, my expectations of Christmas was magnified beyond proportion and all year round, I’d dream of what piece of latest ‘posh’ branded polo I’d get this Christmas! Will it be Ralph Lauren, Nike or just the best Ankara money can buy? How will I look in it? Who will commend me in this yearly display of decking to impress? Who cares… its Christmas, I often conclude, confused at what the purpose of my day dream was.
Later as I grew up, fancy cloths became out fashioned, I needed more. More of more I suppose, what if there was more to this?
Then I found isolated thoughts playing pranks on me. Am I the only one sick of new cloth smells at Christmas? I no longer fit into the unit that bore me – my family ties became fragile.
So I turned to friends. If I had many friends at Christmas… lots and lots, surely boredom will be a thing of the past?
Could I be on my way out of this trance of emptiness?
So I made friends, thankfully godly ones… not by choice, but because I wasn’t a ‘cool’ kid so naturally attracted the geeks & straight looking kids on our street – to the very delight of my parents I suppose. But I didn’t feel any different, maybe if I had bad boys and gals as friends? Maybe Christmas will be all that ‘more’… Trust me, that desire didn’t materialise and I was forced to see the emptiness yet more.
The Combo effect
OK, What if I combine it, friends and food? Eat all day long? So every Christmas, I’d plan to visit as many friends as humanly possible, eating and drinking all day. Having the best Christmas delicacies you can find is surely putting some importance to the day after all. Whether it’s Christmas pudding in the United Kingdom, Jollof rice from the western part of Africa or their alternatives, the Turkey supreme or the Asian Tikka masala. Let’s face it, Christmas and good food are inseparable.
The world today has now imbibed the spirit of gluttony at Christmas – the ‘all-you-can-eat’ deception. Neglecting the purpose for Christmas but serving the glutton – god. Have you noticed the amount of Cooking TV shows that has overtaken our screens? The need to submerge our spirit under the control of our body, the very opposite of the scriptures.
I recall a time I believe I ate until I threw up on Christmas – pwew! Disgusting right? Surely, there’s more…
Then came the ease of movies – binge watching. Hurray! Perhaps the day goes faster (sadly I must say)? If I binge watched the best Hollywood episodes, add few gospel movies or better still watch all the circular best blockbusters and then shut my conscience with a gospel classic like God’s Not Dead combo, Heaven is for Real or the classic Jesus of Nazareth – newer versions. Nothing wrong with this line up of course except I’ve completely ignored the essence of Christmas resulting in an unusual pounding headache. I can handle that with a few tablets I suppose – although I carry a power able to dissolve every headache, I am too ashamed to command. Still the irony, the emptiness persists!
OK, do not read any further if you’re a teenager! Just joking!! Seriously, read on…
love lust @ Christmas
I thought, what if I had a girlfriend? I real human opposite sex person, that I can call mine. I knew I wasn’t allowed sex but the feeling of love surely can give the day a purpose… I mean certainly give it a boost, right!?
So I fell in love at Christmas – heart pounding, butterfly flurry belly and seriously in love.
Then I realised that love with a motive places undue pressure on one’s self. My attention was no longer on the real purpose of the season but on her – you know!
Yet more, I found myself back to where I started, gifts! I need gifts – creative, impressive and in vogue gifts! I have a virtuous lady to impress this time. Nice eh…
But after the sweats and hours of shopping for the perfect gift, the nice – no sex visit (a few kisses happened – oops!) and kind remarks… the day ends with pleasant memories of love without a purpose.
With the very best intentions, my Christmas romance didn’t last and I can’t tell you just how much hurt I caused myself. But that’s not how the sorry ended for love… I found true love in God and through Him met the bone of my bones, the true expression of God’s glory in bodily beauty – now, that’s a different blog post on its own.
So what is the purpose for Christmas? Jesus!!! Jesus is in fact Christ!!! Your help at all times.
I love the way Dawson’s blog puts it;
”Christmas is about totally pure, unconditional, irrepressible, inconceivably awesome, self-denying TRUE LOVE”
True love that made the son of God give up his supreme being, the power and splendor of glory. He came as man simply with no grandeur entrance, no thrills and King in a manger meant for animals far less superior to man. Same love that got him through the eyes of death, hell beholding his glory but could not hold him. Love’s core woke him up on resurrection morning.
Hear this song ‘The Blood’
Filling the space
If you’ve ever wondered why you have felt empty at Christmas despite the excitement, the gifts and the ‘oh so’ presence of family & friends; it’s simply because you perhaps have missed the real reason for the season – Jesus.
You see, the real Christmas is Jesus, the everlasting Father!
You see emptiness is a state of the mind, where only divinity can fill. Satisfying your soul especially at Christmas cannot be imaginary, it can’t be done by humane or mundane things. We’re all made to worship and worship we must. Choice spoilt, we have to choose who to worship.
You can worship emptiness, the spirit of the season – holy night yet ungodly. Many of us at one time or the other have given our souls to empty Christmas.
For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Isaiah 9:6 NIV
Taking it back
Loving the things of this world, the pride of life; what the evil one has turned the world into – a blinded Christmas. Cheerful yet sad, giving yet selfish making Christmas a disguise. The best mirage known under heaven.
This Christmas, try worship – where the deep calls for the deep, real uncensored worship of your Father – where nothing / no one else sees you and you see no one else except Him glorified.
Try Christmas with and in Jesus. Guaranteed, you’d love the season again.
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