What Christmas Means to me....

Today's topic for the Wives of Faith Blog carnival..... oh my! I've been mulling this over all day and I've gotta tell you some of the other ladies have fabulous posts! But as I've been reading them and trying to distill what Christmas means to me I think it comes down to one word .... LOVE.

A word often misused in our culture today, we love ice cream, we love certain TV shows and we love our husbands. But Christmas is about Love in it's truest sense! The Love that willingly gives to another to make them happy -- hence the search for that perfect gift that will, if only for a moment, make that particular person radiate with joy. Love that wants the best for others even if costs a lot - our time, treasures and money. Love that sees needs and trys however feebly to meet them -- one of our family traditions is packing shoeboxes for Operation Christmas Child and praying they will bless the recipients (OK so maybe it started out as a way to get my kids to be grateful as well but hey if you can meet needs and teach lessons at the same time - why not?). Love that grants peace to those around us -- the attempts to quell bickering even if just for that day, stories of cease fires in war time,etc or even just the quietness of kids tucked up into bed and no lights on but the tree. The Kindness of strangers to one another for even but a season, people who say Merry Christmas to each other on the street who might otherwise never speak, open homes, soldiers adopted for meals, etc.  I "love" Christmas eve candlelight services or midnight mass for their reminders of what is important and the light that Love so long ago sent with a whisper of hope into a dark world (one of my favorite memories is singing "Silent Night" in German around the outside Christmas tree at our chapel service in Germany).  All the pretty packages, bows, ribbons, baking, singing, and twinkling lights come down to this....
For God so greatly loved and dearly prized the world that He [even] gave up His only begotten (unique) Son, so that whoever believes in (trusts in, clings to, relies on) Him shall not perish (come to destruction, be lost) but have eternal (everlasting) life. .... John 3:16, Amplified

We, though, are going to love—love and be loved. First we were loved, now we love. He loved us first ... 1John 4:19 The Message

Make your own attitude that of Christ Jesus, who, existing in the form of God, did not consider equality with God as something to be used for His own advantage.  Instead He emptied Himself  by assuming the form of a slave, taking on the likeness of men. And when He had come as a man in His external form, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death—even to death on a cross ...Phillip. 2:5-8, HCSB

Only true Love would sacrifice itself for another, there would be no reason to celebrate Christmas without the Resurrection. Even if the world can't or won't acknowledge it, even when they deny and defame they can not stop Love, oh yes I know all about the pagan roots of this particular day on the calendar and the fact that Christ was most likely born sometime in Sept/Oct during Succot  but nevertheless .. This is what Christmas means to me and what I have tried to teach my children...... Read other's thought on what Christmas means to them  here by scrolling to comments and clicking on the links!