You guys, what happened to November? It literally passed me by. Which is why you did not get a post from me during the month of November. It came and went and I didn’t even realize it. It was not intended for me to not write and post last month, but it happened. All that to say, here I am writing during my FAVORITE month of the entire year!
The Christmas season is the best part of the year for me. My husband and I just celebrated our 1 year anniversary (I’ll always say getting married in December, at Christmas time, was the best decision we ever made, a part from marrying each other of course), and even though last Christmas was technically our first Christmas as Mr. and Mrs., this year has felt a lot more like our first real Christmas. By the time we got back home from our honeymoon last year, the Christmas season was almost over. We didn’t have much time to enjoy it, decorate our home for it, or establish any of our own traditions. This year we have been able to do that and I have loved every second of it. Last year we had a Christmas tree, and it had lights on it, but it only had about 3 ornaments on it, and that was the extent of our Christmas decorating. Now, if you know me, you know that is just not enough decorations. I love the decorations, lights, music, movies, candles, everything associated with Christmas. Probably a little too much at times, but my husband loves me through it and even chooses to participate in it because he knows how much joy it brings me. So this year we went all out. We actually filled our tree with ornaments, and even added a bow and a tree skirt. We decorated the tree together on one of our Saturday date nights, and wore our Santa onesie pj’s while decorating it. New tradition. We re-arranged the furniture in our entire living room for the Christmas tree. That was quite the adventure. New tradition. We put other Christmas decor around the house and hung Christmas lights up outside of our house. New tradition. Last year, on our wedding night we watched The Grinch, so this year on our anniversary we watched The Grinch. New tradition. Mitchell even put up our second Christmas tree while I was at work one day and willingly chose to listen to Christmas music without me there to force him. I’m corrupting him, I know, but I see it more as progress than corruption.
Everyone always gives me a hard time because, if we are being honest here, I start listening to Christmas music as soon as Halloween is over. 25 days just isn't long enough to really enjoy the season for me, so I extend it as much as I can in any way that I can. I usually hear remarks like “You need to be grateful for what you have instead of wanting more.” Just because I listen to Christmas music before Thanksgiving doesn’t mean I skip Thanksgiving. I just tell people that I’m thankful for Christmas. In all seriousness though, I don’t enjoy Christmas only because of the presents I get on Christmas morning. I enjoy the entirety of the Christmas season and all the celebration that comes with it. And really, the celebration of thankfulness that happens at Thanksgiving, extends and even grows for me as we head into the Christmas season. During Christmas I experience so much joy because my heart overflows with how much I have to be thankful for. The Christmas seasons brings people together and creates an opportunity for so much joy and love to be shared.
This year I was pondering the well known phrase, “Jesus is the Reason for the Season.” It’s a phrase that most all of us have heard, and it’s a phrase that I highly agree with. Jesus is the reason that we have Christmas and the season to celebrate. He is the reason to celebrate and the reason that Christmas exists at all. Yes, there have been a lot of things added to Christmas that make it worldly, but Jesus can be seen amongst those things too. We have a Christmas tree because of the tree Jesus was born into and the tree He hung on when He died to save us. We have Christmas music that praises Him for His coming. We have presents to represent the gift that He is to us and the gift He gave us by entering into the world as one of us. All of this is true, but is Jesus just the reason for the season? Isn’t Jesus the reason for everything in our lives? Shouldn’t we be celebrating year around because everything we have and everything we are is because of Him?
Don’t misunderstand me, I definitely think we need to always celebrate Christmas and remember what this season really means. However, I don’t think the celebration should stop once Christmas is over. Our lives should be a constant season of celebration because Jesus is evident and present in all of it. Jesus is not just the reason for the Christmas season, Jesus is the reason for everything ever. Jesus is the reason for our provisions and blessings. Jesus is the reason for our unique gifts and abilities. Jesus is the reason for our relationships. Jesus is the reason that we are chosen to be a part of God’s story. Jesus is the reason we get to pray to and hear from God all of the time, everyday. Jesus is the reason that we don’t have to spend forever in this world, but get to enter into paradise with Him one day.
I challenge you to remember Jesus in this holiday season, as you spread joy, as you serve, and as you spend time with loved ones. But I also encourage you to remember Jesus when Christmas is over in your everyday life. We don’t need a reason like Christmas to celebrate Jesus. We can celebrate Him everyday simply for who He is and what He has made possible for us.