Merry & Bright // Christmas Season

25 December 2014

Free Printable from Mari Orr // Found here: Mari Orr Shop
I am absolutely loving this free printable that I came across on Tumblr. It actually is found over on Mari Orr's Shop on her website. The link to the shop is in the caption for the picture. It is just such a fun little piece that totally fits the holiday season! Take a minute and go grab a copy of this printable while you can!

Now let's talk about Christmas...

In America, when we talk about Christmas we immediately think of Christmas trees, lights, ornaments, tinsel, garland, presents, Christmas cookies, and so on. We have become accustomed to this commercialized version of Christmas. The focus is put on the material side of life. We worry about getting the right present...
Did I buy the right shirt/pair of jeans/shoes for my kids?
Is this something that will be special to them?
Will this be the best present that so and so could get this year?

I have heard all of these questions and more. Our focus is on things that may seem good, and they are, but the pressure to have the perfect everything and to have a lot of gifts isn't good. Now I am not saying that giving gifts is bad, but rather the reasoning or the heart behind it needs to change. Yes, we look at this season as a season of giving. We want to get people things. This in and of itself isn't bad. But why are we buying people the things we do? 
Are we trying to one up some other relative or friend? 
Are we trying to make our kids love us by getting them the best things that we can? 
Are we trying to show off our wealth or how much we can spend?

Where are our hearts during this season? Are our hearts searching material fulfillment this Christmas season? Are they looking for some sort of earthly affirmation that they are doing this holiday thing right? Or are our hearts longing to celebrate the One who gives us a very reason to celebrate? I think that we need to reevaluate our take on Christmas. Family traditions are great, presents are good, but our focus is rarely aimed the direction it needs to be.

Christmas is a day to celebrate the birth of our Saviour. It is a day to remember that He has come and He will come again. It is a day to remember the gift that our Father has given us in His Son. It is a day to remember the many things that He has given us. The blessings, the joy, the peace. It is a day to remember who He is. 

While we should focus on Him on a daily basis, Christmas is a special day to totally and completely celebrate the precious gift that Jesus is. Yet we focus so often on the worldly, materialistic aspects of Christmas, making this special day not so special. It becomes a day where the focus is opposite of what Jesus stands for. 

Now before you categorize me as a scrooge who thinks we should get rid of presents and decorations entirely, stop to think through what I am saying. I am not saying to get rid of presents and decorations. Put up your tree and lights, enjoy the beauty of the season. Get a present for those you love. But make sure that your heart and focus are looking in the right direction.

The Birth of Jesus

In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. (This was the first census that took place while[a] Quirinius was governor of Syria.) And everyone went to their own town to register.

So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.

And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. 12 This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”

13 Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,

14 “Glory to God in the highest heaven,
    and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”

15 When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”

16 So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. 17 When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, 18 and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. 19 But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. 20 The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.
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