Now that we are less than three weeks away from Christmas, we should start to see some familiar things in the streets and stores around where we live.  I was driving across town yesterday and noticed a blow-up Santa Mickey Mouse where there was a giant turkey a week ago.  Lights and greenery on houses and businesses indicate a new sense of excitement as we go.  Maybe you even have a tree in your living room where there wasn’t one a few weeks ago.  Did everyone catch the same decorating bug at the same time, or do we just like our traditions, or maybe even see them as opportunities to out-decorate our neighbor (e.g. Christmas Vacation)?  Regardless of their motivations, people are definitely getting into the ‘Christmas Spirit’ – whatever your definition of that may be.  What Christmas traditions do you most enjoy, if any?

You, however, are not in the realm of the flesh but are in the realm of the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, they do not belong to Christ.  Romans 8:9

There are some who may go a bit overboard with getting ready for Christmas with getting everything just so.  getting Christmas cards sent, getting presents for everyone on the list, decorating, baking cookies, watching Christmas movies, having everyone that needs to be able to get together, etc, to whatever degree you can imagine.  There are some who even get upset when others don’t reply ‘Merry Christmas’ when you say the same to them, because you know, that means they are ‘anti-Christmas.’   It’s the same mindset that if everyone else doesn’t do like I do, then they aren’t really in this game with me.  Are there some traditions you are more adamant about than others?  Are you open to starting new traditions with your family, or do you hold to the old code?  I am fairly nostalgic and do enjoy revisiting some of the same things that I did growing up, but also realize that with new people and places in our family, we can start our very own traditions that they will remember in future decades as well.  I like listening to stories of how people celebrated in the past, and though things may have ben different, notice there is a similar spirit of love, joy, giving, and celebration around the birth of our Lord.  How exciting is that? 

But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people.  Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord.  Luke 2:10-11

This year, I have been sharing some of my favorite Christmas songs, with links, on social media and saying why I like this song or that one.  Interestingly, some of my favorites I have only just heard within the past few years, while others are from centuries before I was born.  There will still be new Christmas songs every year from now till eternity, so that is a given.  Each year, my wife and I sit down from our busy schedules to watch some of the same movies and shows each year, because we enjoy them and it is a fun tradition that the kids will remember.  It is good to question what we do and determine whether it has the right motives or not behind it.  Do we do things, just because we’ve always done them, or because it promotes Christ and the fruit of the Spirit in our homes and communities?  Maybe we should ask ourselves each year how we can best love our neighbor in any given situation each day. 

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,  gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.  Galatians 5:22-23

So, as you go about each day in the way you choose leading up to the day we celebrate our Savior’s birth, take a moment to show the love of Christ to those you meet and greet each day.  Pray for them and others within your sphere that the God’s love may abound more and more each year as we share His Spirit during Christmas and each day throughout the year.  May the blessings of Christ abound in your family and the lives of others as you celebrate Christmas this year.  Merry Christmas!

For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God.  Romans 8:14

Yours in Christ,

Clark