I know it is only August, but I am already looking forward to Christmas.
Christmas so happens to be my favorite time of year: the lights, the carols, the pretty decorations, the smells, the colors, the pageantry: all hold a powerful sense of magic and wonderment to me.
Christmas also happens to be my birthday, but that's another story altogether.
I also love Christmas because people seem to be a lot nicer. Maybe they're living out the spirit of "goodwill towards all men", as it says in the Holy Bible, I don't know; but I happen to like it. Of course, you have a lot of grinches and Scrooges out there, but I tend to ignore them and try to be nice to everyone I encounter.
Christmas is a big deal at our house. My parents make sure we know the real, REAL meaning of the holiday: the birth of Jesus Christ, over 2,000 years ago. While Jesus may not have actually been born ON Christmas Day, December 25, that's when we happen to celebrate it; I mean, look at the first part of the word "Christmas". CHRISTmas. Even His Name is in the holiday.
In addition to celebrating Christmas (and my birthday), we celebrate HIS birthday. Mom makes a cake for Jesus and we kids sing "Happy Birthday, Jesus" before we open up our presents or before they sing "Happy Birthday" to me.
I think it's a wonderful tradition.
My Daddy is a pastor at a fairly large church (3,000 + strong) and last year he preached about carrying the spirit of Christmas all year long in your hearts, thoughts, and actions. I have taken his sermon into my own heart and have tried to live it out the remainder of the year. At times it's hard, especially without the reminders of the season, but I have found it to be quite easy, actually. It's really not as hard as it sounds. It's all a matter of attitude.
All I can do is try to show the love of the season towards others and show them the love of Christ in all that I do, think, or say.
People tend to gravitate towards people who are real, genuine, and pure of heart. I know it doesn't seem that way in a world full of sin, but as for me and my family, we choose to serve the Lord and show the love of a Risen, Forgiving Saviour all year long. No sin is too great or too shocking to Jesus: He took it upon Himself to die on a Cross for ALL our sins; He loved us that much. No other person in the world did this. Only Jesus did.
And the most beautiful thing of all is that He came back to life (resurrected) and He STILL lives, even today, over 2,000 years later! AND He STILL forgives people of their sins; all they have to do is repent of them, ask Him into their lives, and He'll do the rest.
God gave us the Greatest Gift of all on Christmas Day: His son, Jesus Christ, who was born to forgive mankind of their sins. He was born to die on a cross and give mankind hope. That was His mission in life. To live, to preach, and then die for you. For me. For ALL of us.
Anyway, even though it is only August, Daddy is already thinking ahead towards Christmas: what musical he is going to present for the annual adult music ministry's Cantata (and the same for the children's Christmas musical), the sermone he is going to preach, the feeding of the Veterans and homeless/downtrodden of our community, and other matters.
Daddy is always thinking outside the box in how to make this Chritmas an unforgettable one for the congregants of Christ Community Assembly of God Church, Nashville, Tennessee.
I'm glad I have adopted the attitude of Christmas in my own life. It surely makes things a lot better, and having a positive, happy spirit is a lot better than being angry or bitter all the time. That is not my nature to be mean-spirited: I am a happy, well-rounded person with a forgiving heart (it's how I was raised), and it helps being the daughter of a pastor.
It also helps being born right ON Christmas Day.