Simple. Humble. Christmas.

Go, tell it on the mountain
Over the hills and everywhere
Go, tell it on the mountain
That Jesus Christ is born!

Since 4th grade my favorite Christmas song has been “Go Tell It on The Mountain.”  I can remember sitting in choir practice requesting this song all year long. It actually got to the point that our Music teacher began to restrict the request.

I seriously love this song! As this song played at church last week, the lyrics really spoke to me. Our HUMBLE Christ was born.

Down in a lowly manger
our humble Christ was born,
and God sent us salvation,
that blessed Christmas morn.

God sent His one and only Son to be born and placed in a MANGER! There’s certainly nothing fancy about that. Mary and Joseph were simple people. They did not have much and did not expect much. Though I am sure it is not what they would have planned, they were perfectly content with the manger as a basinet for the new born KING.

Simple. Humble. Christmas.

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That was not even close to the way I celebrated Christmas five years ago.

Five years ago, Christmas meant busy!!! Blare the Christmas music. Decorate everything. Shop for everyone you know. Spend money you don’t have. Spoil the kids. Shop till you drop. Visit every relative you can. Make every craft possible. Whatever you do- DON’T STOP!!!

But every single year I was let down. Without fail. Christmas would come and go. Then I would lay in bed completely disappointed and usually crying. Why?

I was given awesome gifts. Everyone liked the gifts I gave them. I spent time with the people who meant the most to me. But I never felt content.

Then one year, when the boys were very young, my husband suggested NOT doing Santa. WHAT!!! No way!!! I want to spoil my kids… But the thought stuck in my head. Maybe I should entertain the idea. He wanted to give each kid 3 gifts like Jesus got. Ok- that makes sense… maybe there’s a compromise here…

As I sat and pondered this, I started talking to my coworkers about it. To my surprise, they not only loved the idea, but wish they had done it with their kids- give meaning to the gifts. Then one of my coworkers told me that when her son found out there was no Santa he said, “Well what else have you been lying to me about. I guess there’s no God too.” And from the moment on he labeled himself an atheist.  ***Obviously, this is not the standard for all kids, please see my disclaimer at the end of this post.

Hearing this changed my perspective on parenting- I want everything I do in life to support God. It also completely changed my perception on the gift giving and Santa. I wanted to do Santa for me. I wasn’t concerned with my kids. Spoiling them through Santa was about me. Maybe not doing Santa was not such a bad idea after all.

It just so happened that this year I also did not have a beautiful family photo to place on a Christmas card. I honestly sat and loathed over this fact. I decided I would just not send out cards this year. Then I got this overwhelming nudge in my heart, “Renee, who is Christmas about? You? or Jesus?”

Let me just be honest, up until that particular year I just said, “Christmas is all about Jesus.” But really… really it was about me. That’s why I went crazy shopping, decorating, gift giving, running around. And when Christmas was about me, I was always disappointed.

That year I decided to take my husband’s lead and have a simple Christmas. Only give gifts with meaning. Send out homemade Christmas cards that point to Jesus. Do crafts with my kids that point to Jesus. Sing songs that point to Jesus. Share the love of Jesus with everyone I can.

Slow down. Breathe. Embrace the season of welcoming our Savior to the world. But remembering, God came to Earth as a poor boy. HUMBLE. The first Christmas was simple. It’s more than ok for our family’s Christmas to be simple and meaningful!

Go, tell it on the mountain
Over the hills and everywhere
Go, tell it on the mountain
That Jesus Christ is born!

The ways of the world can really interfere with the true meaning of Christmas. You don’t need fancy decorations, gifts, and celebrations to let everyone around you know the true meaning of Christmas. Remember peace is a person- it’s Jesus. And we can only truly celebrate His peace at Christmastime, if He is the center of the celebration.

Don’t just say it’s all about Jesus when your actions prove its all about you. If something doesn’t go as planned- Like a nativity project- Joseph (your son) starts moving like crazy while holding Baby Jesus (your baby), and you regret ever putting the baby on stage… Remember why they are up there in the first place. That first Christmas was not as planned. It was not the way Mary would have planned the birth of her son, but it was the way God planned it. Simple. Humble.

I’m talking to myself right now too. Make it all about Jesus and keep it all about Jesus, even when things don’t go as planned. Be purposeful about what you do, and how you do it. Don’t give into the world’s hustle and bustle of the Christmas season- spread His Peace!!!!

 

 

*** Disclaimer- Please know I am in no way telling you to do Christmas like me. I am simply sharing my convictions to have a simple Christ-centered Christmas. Every family is unique and operates in their own way. For some of you, you can pull off Santa while keeping Christ in the center of your Christmas. Me- I couldn’t.

If you decide to not do Santa, I would encourage you to look up Saint Nicholas. Santa is part of American culture. You cannot think of Christmas without seeing this image, but you can put the appropriate name to the face. St. Nick is the only reason that we understand the Holy Trinity (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit) the way we do. You can even tell about the charitable giving  of St. Nick and explain why we carry on the traditions. Do what works for your family but please. Please…PLEASE!!, keep the focus on Jesus. He is worthy of all the attention. That little boy in a manger saved the world!

Resourse: https://www.stnicholascenter.org/pages/bishop-nicholas-loses-his-cool/

This link will give you an abbreviated story of how St. Nicholas fought (literally) for Jesus to remain a part of the Holy Trinity that we all know and understand today. St. Nick was an awesome guy and we have every reason to remember him this time of year…BUT… only because his actions pointed to Jesus. You see… it is really all about Jesus. Merry Christmas and God bless you all!

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