Holidays and birthdays were sparingly celebrated in my family, so the majority of my memories of Christmas are situated in the church – and rightly so, as it’s the celebration of Christ’s birth. Around Christmas time, I remember knowing the gift of salvation though Christ, rejoicing in the blessings of Jesus, and joining each other in fellowship, surrounded by the joy and light of Jesus. Over the years, however, I can see that the commercialized side of Christmas has grown, as have I. At first glance, it seems that Christmas is no longer about the birth of Christ, but about ornaments, caroling, reindeer, and Santa Claus.
Another, deeper look reveals a brighter truth.
However much the Christmases of my youth were focused on Jesus and all that he represented—joy, forgiveness, and, most importantly, love—to say that those components of the Christmas holiday are only found in a holiday or worship service would be incorrect. At its core, the key to Christmas traditions and spirit has remained the same. We spend the holiday season joyfully giving, happily sharing, and lovingly receiving the blessings of our lives, granted to us through the love of Jesus, the first blessing of Christmas. For some, the traditions consist of coming together at a worship service for the holiday, and for others, the love is shared and shown by gathering around an evergreen tree to hang ornaments.
Christmas may have begun, for me, as the religious celebration of Jesus’s birth and shifted into a celebration of good tidings and joy in one another’s company. But ultimately, Christ isn’t just found in a worship service or in the traditions of Christmas. Rather, He is found very simply in finding and sharing the love that Christ represents with those around you. This is the true blessing of Christmas.
Un Kim (B.A., Montana State University) is Editor of Inscribed. As Executive Assistant and Student Records Administrator, Un has a wide variety of responsibilities at the YTI office.