Confession: Until this year, I’ve never watched Hallmark Christmas movies at Christmas time. Not for lack of desire–we’re just cheap and don’t have cable. (A little antenna outside gets us a few local channels, but that’s it.)
But this year, I decided to splurge. We have a new “smart” TV that has SLING on it, so we are splurging for 2 months to be able to watch the Hallmark channel on it so I can join in the Christmas movie fun.
I was pretty giddy with excitement about one movie that reminded me of the Christmas novella I wrote (A (kinda) Country Christmas — about a woman who celebrates Christmas 365 days a year–which was the same theme of the movie! The movie released the year after my book did–I feel kinda vindicated that I write Hallmark movie themes–or something like that, HA!)
Anyway, I may or may not have become a little addicted. I know, I know. There is a WHOLE lot of the predictability and the same plot over and over (Lots of career-addicted-women are introduced to the charms of a small-town-Christmas by a dashing hometown handyman of some sort.) I’m not putting them down–I watch them and sigh at the end and ignore my husband as he pokes fun. There is just something fun and sigh-worthy about Christmas-themed happily-ever-afters.
One other common theme, though, is “The ‘true’ meaning of Christmas.” Most all of the main characters are either avoiding it or searching for it or getting itall wrong or are teaching their soon-to-be significant other about it.
But what IS the true meaning of Christmas?
Family? Love? Giving? Cheer? Joy? Peace?
All GREAT things. Really, they are.
Personally, I’ve always believed that JESUS was the true meaning of Christmas. Celebrating our Savior’s birth–by spending time with family He’s blessed us with, by sharing love, by giving, by spreading cheer, by realizing the JOY that Christ brings, and by experiencing Peace on Earth that Jesus came to bring.
I still believe that.
Yet–This year, I’m contemplating it on a slightly deeper level.
I know– sin doesn’t seem very fa-la-la-la-la.
But I’ve been reading through parts of the Old Testament lately and am currently in 2 Kings. And my heart is sick at what I’m reading. Completely disregard of God–turning their back on a God who saves and embracing gods that are completely worthless and man-made. They don’t deserve a Savior. None of them do. I just want to yell at them as the story unfolds and as they lose the promised land God had given them because of the evil in their hearts.
Then I remember–I was just like them. I was born a sinner and didn’t deserve God’s love either. I’ve been selfish, I’ve made man-made things more important than God. I’ve followed my own desires instead of serving God. Maybe I didn’t practice human sacrifice to other gods (my kids say PHEW!) but I have the same need of a Savior.
It was for OUR SIN that Jesus came.
It was because of OUR SIN that Christmas is even a thing.
Christmas is about Jesus–but this year I’m reveling in that even deeper. I’m realizing afresh the wonder of that–how undeserving I am of that. I’m realizing how DUMB it is to stress over parties and gift giving and decorating and what to get people and what to put on your Christmas list and all these other crazy things that make the season stressful.
Christmas isn’t even about giving things–it’s about what we’ve already been given. JESUS! He has come to SAVE us. How AMAZING is that. Everything else is just fun ways to celebrate that, but not at all the point and not even a little bit worthy of being stressed over.
I know this is a little off the romance topic. But–I firmly believe that our relationship with Jesus is the ultimate romance. He sacrificed so that we could have life.
Can’t get much more swoon-worthy than that!
I pray that you can stop and revel in the “true” meaning of Christmas this year.
Blessings everyone, and Merry Christmas!