The Joys of Christmas

(From Christmas 2013)
Christmas.  What is Christmas?  If you turn the M upside down, Christmas is ChristWas...yes, CHRIST was, and is and is to come.  
                          Christ is the JOY of Christmas.  
                                    Christ IS Christmas.   
Christmas can be hustle and bustle, frustrating, stressing over buying gifts, the right gifts, getting the decorations just right, and it can be family, but without CHRIST, even family has no meaning.  

Christ is first and foremost the reason we celebrate.  The reason we decorate, the reason we get together, the reason our families come celebrate the risen Lord.  Without Christ's birth, there would have not been a cross, and if there had been no cross, there could not have been a resurrection.  

The joys of Christmas are many, smiles, colors, memories made by our parents, memories of our grandparents.  My grandmother loved to have fun at Christmas time, she always enjoyed wrapping up something to tease someone, she loved the laughs and the "what did you do?"  I still miss her so very much, that is the 1 reason I get sad at this time of year.  She was the very best!  
So much fun, but she also enjoyed so much the reading of the Christmas story from Luke 2.  My cousin and my sister would stand and take turns reading verse by verse from her Bible, from when I turned 5 (I was the oldest so I began reading 1st) and continued as long as she was alive.  
When Sarah learned to read, she took over the long running tradition in our family, and continued through all 4 of our children.  This year we will probably add a couple more readers...

I would take nothing for the fun memories my parents created, and we always knew the real reason we celebrated the Christmas season.  There would be NO reason to celebrate if Christ had not come to be born.  None at all, if God had not given God, why would we have extra celebrations? Why decorate?  Why create our Christmas memories?  There would be no reason without CHRIST.  This is the month we can celebrate a birthday for an entire month, or 2!  We never do this for any other birthdays, what a joyous occasion to celebrate the One who gave His life for us!!!

"For unto us a child is born and unto us a Son is given: 
and the government is upon His shoulder and He shall call His name, 
Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, 
The everlasting Father, The prince of peace.

The increase of His government and peace shall have none end: 
He shall sit upon the throne of David, 
and upon His kingdom, to order it, 
and to establish it with judgment, and with justice, 
from henceforth, even forever: 
the zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this.
(1599 Geneva Bible Isaiah 9:6-7)

Celebrate this day, know that God gave God, He gave His Only Son Jesus, yes, God, so we could have life, so we could know Life, know Truth, know Love.  Be joyful, rejoice, love one another, and know Jesus is why we love. 

What is a Christmas tradition for you and your family?

Another tradition our family has is Steve has read a Christmas book to our children every Christmas Eve before bed, and at 21, 20, 20, and almost 18, he still reads it.  :)
What Child is This? by Martha Marshall...It is out of print, or I couldn't find it anyway, but it is the full account, very simple,

"Let us love Him
as Mary and Joseph did.

Let us tell others about Him
as the shepherds did.

Let us thank God for Him
as Simeon and Anna did.

Let us worship Him 
as the wise men did.

What child is this?
This is Jesus, God's own Son."
( excerpt from What Child is This?)

Planning to begin a new tradition?  It is never too late to start...begin now.

Always Experiencing Him,


Sammy and Missy Parris said...

Love this Jody, I have a Christmas post I'm working on with my left hand-ha!!so it may take awhile but your words are so much more beautiful that what I can express. I love all your beautiful decorations. It just feels so warm and meaningful the way you have decorated and I think I may steal that Frosty idea on the door, too cute and maybe leave it up on through January.

Jody Dake said...

I sure hope you are better soon!

You are way too sweet! I just pinned a pin that said i write much better than I talk, and it is the truth. I guess if I actually took the time to talk and cautiously chose my words as I do writing maybe my spoken words would be smoother as well...

These are just a few of our decorations; it is some we have done differently this year, but still using what we have. Maybe I can post a few more a bit later. We still have to get our big tree up, and I have to do that before our family gets in.

Use any idea because NOTHING is original! I always have to use my creative friends ideas or, of course, pinterest.

See you soon!

Always Experiencing Him,

Emily Miller said...

Such a beautiful post! This is definitely something that people need to hear this time of year. Thank you for the beautiful reminder!

Jody Dake said...

Thank you for your sweet words Emily. We all need a reminder sometimes, especially me. God is so very good! Pray you have a blessed CHRISTmas this year!

Always Experiencing Him,