Dr. Helen Holton
The Eve of Christmas
As a Christian woman created by God and redeemed by Christ, this is one of my favorite times of the year. The greatest gift given humanity was when God out of pure love for us God’s own creation extended salvation through the birth of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. This is the greatest love story ever told that continues to fill my heart to overflow when I think of how much God loves me and you. On Christmas Eve I am excited with anticipation to wake up on Christmas morning not to unwrap material gifts but to rejoice in the greatest gift we could ever receive.
As a young child, I remember being so overly anxious on Christmas Eve about what “Santa” would bring down the chimney and leave under the tree for me and my sister. As I read and listen to the stories of parents still wrestling with preparing gifts for their children from Santa, their curiosity, and what Christmas is really all about it makes me chuckle. It’s funny how Christian children learn about the birth of Jesus on Christmas, yet live in the dichotomy this blessed event and Santa Claus as if they both were real and relevant to the reason for the season.
I grew out of Santa Claus and realized my Mom and others were responsible for the gifts under the tree, many wrapped and some just given. No need to go to bed before midnight to ensure Santa would stop by our house, although the anticipation often remained about the hoped-for gifts would show up by morning. Shopping for parents and other family members and friends was a great time to hang out at the mall and shop with other people’s money…oh, I meant allowance earned and saved up for such occasions.
I used to revel in the delight of finding ways to show love and appreciation for family and friends by shopping for unusual and unique trinkets and baubles and gifts. As I matured in life both physically and spiritually the concept of spending money to buy things seemed to lose its allure of making Christmas appealing and special. Finding time to gather together and fellowship over a meal, go to a movie, see a show or visit an exhibit seemed to be so much more fulfilling and memorable.
Christmas represents the birth of Christ ushered in by Advent, the four Sunday’s leading up to this blessed day of remembrance. Attending worship services and spending time each week to focus on this sacred season of Hope, Love, Joy, and Peace — the real meaning of Christmas makes my heart full and humbles my spirit. Embracing the unfolding of my spiritual growth has been a beautiful journey of drawing me nearer to God and my purpose on earth. I live my life full of the spirit of Christ that lives in me that my greatest wish for Christmas is for God to continue to mold me, shape me, and use me to fulfill God’s will for my life in the world.
To all, I wish you a very Merry Christmas and pray that God continues to bless you and keep you!