Happy Christmas to you and yours.

Today while people around the world are anxiously ripping open presents from friends, family, and co-workers, my family pauses… we don’t participate in those activities. Rather, we choose to celebrate something bigger than ourselves.

Several years ago, we stopped celebrating this day in a way that has become traditional with gift exchanges, eggnog, and caroling. Instead, for our family, there are no gift exchanges today. Our children are not ripping open toys and gadgets that they will eventually, if not quickly lose interest in. My wife and I are not playing some marital game of “who can get the other the better gift”. We are not trying to outdo each other with bigger or more expensive packages wrapped in snowflakes, Santa Claus or topped with bows.

That’s not for me and my family. Not today. Instead, today we choose to celebrate the birth of the world’s Savior. After all, this day was chosen to represent His birth, a sacred event. We know it is not the official day of His birth. But such records were not carefully kept in those times. It has however become accepted to make today the day to celebrate it. And while many around the world will celebrate Christmas, they will not celebrate Christ’s birth, or it will be an afterthought, not the primary focus.

Today my family and I will spend time reading about Christ’s birth, watching a program about His story, celebrating His birth with a cake (cheesy, but heartwarming) and spending some time in prayer that others will receive Him into their lives.

Read Jesus’ Birth Story in the Book of Luke

We do not subscribe to the commercialization of His sacred day. Somehow Jesus Christ’s birthday has been hijacked to become a day for secular parties and consumerism. Every year it gets worse and worse as people, even Christians, opt to spend more and more money on physical things instead of thinking about their own Spiritual salvation and what significance Jesus’ birth has for the world’s salvation.

For unto us a Child is born,
Unto us a Son is given;
And the government will be upon His shoulder.
And His name will be called
Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

Isaiah 9:6

Jesus Christ’s birth, and His death on the cross, and then His subsequent resurrection means that we indeed have a Savior that will wash our sins away, and provide us with eternal life.

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

John 3:16

As the Bible tells us, the wages of sin is death. Jesus Christ took on all the world’s sin and died for us in order that we are able to have eternal life with our Lord in Heaven.

For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Romans 6:23

But that is not all. When we accept Jesus Christ as our Savior, and live our lives through Him, we are able to rise above all the struggles and live with peace.

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

Philippians 4:13

Having Christ in our lives does not mean there are no struggles or that we are magically healed, become wealthy or have no problems. We will all continue to live with the pain and difficulty that “fate” has dealt us. The difference is how we are able to deal with those issues. And the gift we have been given to survive through them. He will provide each of us with what we need to get through our Earthly trials.

No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.

1 Corinthians 10:13

May our Savior provide you with peace, patience, persistence, and strength to get through whatever struggles you have. Don’t be coy, we are all struggling with something. Some are physical ailments, some emotional, some financial or economic, some with relationships, and some spiritual. Every single one of us has some issue(s) we need help dealing with.

That is why today is much more significant than a gift exchange or drinking eggnog around a warm fire singing Christmas carols.

Today represents our Savior’s birth. A prophesy fulfilled over 2000 years ago. His birth represents a gift to the world, if it accepts Him. You likely celebrate Christmas in some way. But have you accepted Jesus Christ as your Savior?

If you have not, accepting Him is simple. What you must do is sincerely accept Him as your Savior by saying a prayer to God, our heavenly Father, that acknowledges Him and that He sent Jesus Christ to die on the cross for your salvation. When you accept that Jesus Christ died for you, and understand how humbling a gift that was, God will give you eternal life and you will be born anew in Him. I pray that you will take this step, if you never have.

If you too have become disenfranchised about Christmas and are looking for a better way to celebrate this day, I invite you to do what we do and not do a gift exchange or participate in other superficial traditions that have become the norm. Instead, celebrate Jesus Christ’s birth by focusing on Him one-hundred percent. Teach your children about Jesus Christ. Teach them Christmas is not about getting gifts. Read Jesus Christ’s birth story, and spend time thinking about Him and praying for others to come to Him through this day.

Let’s all put Jesus CHRIST back into CHRISTmas.