A Hallmark Christmas
I love this time of year. Everything is made prettier with decorations and lights that sparkle. Families and friends spend time together over delicious dished and give each other thoughtful gifts. It's not a bad way to end the year.
For me, the Christmas season officially begins when the Hallmark Channel starts broadcasting its holiday movie playlist. Although they must have hundreds of holiday movies, they all have pretty much the same type of storyline, and it goes something like this:
Someone, usually the female lead, had some life altering situation that's caused her to rethink everything in her life right around Christmastime, or she's a busy, high powered executive that is too busy for anything. Either way, she ends up in a small town that's the most amazing Christmas location ever. She settles in for the week and becomes involved in the town's Christmas pageant or tree lighting ceremony or whatever the big holiday deal is. Of course, she meets the town's handsome single guy and just happens to run into him everywhere until they become friends and have a montage of relationship building fun times. They fall in love, she has a choice to make and ends up staying in the cute Christmas town forever. The End!
In every movie, you hear about the magic of Christmas or the Christmas miracles that make this season the best time of the entire year. Don't worry, they say, just believe in the magic of Christmas/the spirit of Christmas/Christmas miracles.
As I sit here in my loving tolerance of the cheesy goodness that is holiday romances, I am usually struck by how often they're singing "O Holy Night" or "Joy to the World" in the background or when they just so happen to run into the carolers hanging out by the mistletoe randomly. Hallmark may not realize it, but they're actually pointing out the source of those miracles and the Spirit of the season. In fact, the magic (if you want to call it that) is the awesome awareness the world has of the child born in the stable on a quiet night in a town called Bethlehem. The awareness of the child who would become known throughout the nations as the Savior of the world is the miracle of Christmas. This baby sleeping in the manager among the animals came to be, among other things, Immanuel. God with us. Perfect love in the form of a child so He could be with us as a part of our lives. I just love that.
During a time of year when the movies of sparkly romances can make our lives seem so empty and lonely, when memories of happier celebrations cause us to dread a trip to the gift-filled super store, or when our inability to live up to the expectations of this holiday leave us feeling inferior, we have the miracle of Christmas with us!
Jesus, became the miracle of Christmas so He could be with us every day of our lives (with or without sparkly lights). The awareness of the Spirit doesn't have to be limited to a few weeks at the end of the year. The whole point is for us to have Him in our lives as a part of our lives in every circumstance.
The lights and the decorations are the fun things that we get to drag out every year, but the real thing, Jesus, is what stays with us. His light is brighter than all of the Christmas trees put together! Take this opportunity to shine His light as you shop and prepare for the holiday and then keep on shining it!