For many Americans, the Christmas season is something to be endured, not enjoyed. The crowds and traffic, the grinding obligation of shopping schedules and deadlines, the continual advertising of overblown materialism---all these factors combine to make the Christmas season a time of stress and nausea for many.
However, the word 'Christmas' literally means 'Celebrating Christ'. The emphasis in the word 'Christmas' has to do with Christ. Granted, Christian human beings can enjoy the process and activity of celebrating Christ, but remember that Jesus Christ should be the intended 'target' and recipient of our celebration.
Why should He be? "Because to us a child is born, to us a son is given" (Isaiah 9:6). The ultimate Christmas gift was promised by God, then given at the time of God's choosing. "When the time had fully come, God sent His Son, born of a woman...that we might receive the full rights of sons" (Gal.4:4-5). The Gospel is about the reconciliation of believing sinners with a Holy God through the gift of His Son, Jesus Christ; this is not because we are worthy to receive such a gift, but because God is so lavish and extreme in His giving.
The gift of abundant and eternal life is wrapped up in Christ. Christmas life is for every day and every season; therefore, this gift, this Person of Jesus is to be treasured and celebrated at all times. What a gift, what a miracle, has been given to us.
Laurence Houseman summed up the miracle in these words:
Light looked down and beheld Darkness. 'Thither will I go' said Light.
Peace looked down and beheld War. 'Thither will I go' said Peace.
Love looked down and beheld Hatred. 'Thither will I go' said Love.
So came Light and shone.
So came Peace and gave rest.
So came Love and brought Life.