As a child, my classmates would ask me what I got for Christmas. And sometimes, I would lie. (Sorry, guys!)
I would lie because sometimes, I didn’t get anything. When I did, it wasn’t like racks on racks on racks. We didn’t put up a Christmas tree, we didn’t put up lights.
I would hate the last part because I thought the people driving by would think we weren’t Christians. Our neighbors knew we were but the young me felt like because we didn’t have lights on our house, they’d think we weren’t really what we said we were. Because Christians would definitely have their lights up for Christmas, wouldn’t they?
My parents taught me that it isn’t the stunning decor that represents our faith, but our hearts!
My two favorite memories include waking up to lights of different sizes and colors twinkling around my room. My aunt had gotten me a small pink Barbie Christmas tree! I loved the tree and used it until that bad boy wore out.
The other memory is going to my church banquet every year. We’d dress up in gowns and suits and eat dinner during entertainment. And when the clock struck 12, we’d say “Merry Christmas” and there’d be hugs and kisses all around.
The church banquets weren’t complete because my mother wasn’t there. I’m not sure if any of those times she was in the hospital, but I do remember her being home and telling my siblings and I to “go, go, go” because she didn’t have the strength to and still wanted us to be kids and have fun.
We’d come home and show her so much love! Christmas spirit runs rampant in my house! Think warm scents, feasts of food and loud holiday music.
As I work at the mall these holiday seasons and see people spending like crazy, kids and teens yelling at their parents, and parents clutching pages of wish lists, I’m like…wow. There’s nothing wrong with getting and giving gifts but sheesh! Do not let consumerism consume you. Give with a happy heart and be grateful for whatever you do get! I personally think that’s one of the best parts of Christmas: giving something you know someone will appreciate!
Every Christmas, I have appreciation. What I thought I was missing shows me that I can live without them. I can give and get as long as these material things don’t reign over the reason for the season.
I know I could’ve asked to decorate our home or hint at gifts but I didn’t feel like it mattered as long as I was with my family.
I can enjoy seeing all of the lights, singing Christmas songs, and watching 25 Days of Christmas on ABC.
And if you ask me what I got for Christmas, I can say “nothing” when my answer is just that. But what I do have is a Savior. And He came for all of us – the biggest present in the world and all we need to do is accept Him.
So Merry Christmas everyone! Remember to celebrate Jesus. I hope you enjoy your eggnog, get all that you want and make beautiful memories with the beautiful people you have in your life! Love you all.
Photos by Steven DiGiuseppe