Today really is one of the best days of the year. There is just something so traditional and special about Christmas Day! Yummy food, Christmas literally everywhere, being able to take in all the Christmas decorations, and spending time with family makes for the best day. I am learning that as you grow older the gifts become a little less fun! Not that I didn't love my gifts, I got great clothes, things for Italy, etc., but in the moment these things aren't as fun! I cannot wait to wear them and be in Italy, but when you are a kid you normally get all these toys and games. I mean in today's society it seems technology is everywhere. And then as kids we spend the whole day playing with those new fun things! I remembered getting phones, computers, iPods, a four wheeler, and many other things that fall into this category over the years. I hope you don't think I'm not appreciative or excited. I am saying that things are changing and Christmas is a little different each year. But it is not a bad thing because not only do you still get great gifts, but you also seem to learn and appreciate them a lot more.
I have really pushed "remember the real reason for the season" because I think it is something that is so important in our world. We get caught up in the decorations, the food, the fun, and especially the gifts, when often we don't seem to remember why we even have all of those things in the first place. Jesus was born on this day, in a manger which was basically in a barn. If our powerful and loving savior can come into this world like that, then I don't even need any gifts. All he had was love and that is all we really need this holiday season. Today as we opened gifts and the wrapping paper scraps piled up, I couldn't help but be thankful. It is great that we are able to give like that, but take that all away and I still have everything I truly need. I didn't need new things because the best things have been in my life for the past 20 Christmases. My family, a roof over our head, a bible, and a Christmas tree. We don't even have to have all of those things, but when it boiled down to it, that is what I consider the best gift. And the best part is that our God gave me that gift. No one else did! I think today I was in shock at how great that feeling is. To know that the best gifts truly come from God and that he does provide always. So for those of you who are upset because you didn't get something you wanted or you got the wrong size or wrong gift all together.... build a bridge and get over it. Our savior came into this world without some flashy big ticket Christmas item and I don't think that you really need that in your life to function either. It always comes down to the simple things. The things that you can't imagine life without. Those are the things to be thankful for this Christmas.
Jesus was born with a family and friends, in a warm place, surrounded by God's love. If that is not enough for you this Christmas then I hate to break it to you, but you did not celebrate Christmas today. You joined in on this celebration because it is tradition to get gifts. Because it is an opportunity to get excited about something for a day and then realize you want something else tomorrow. That is not what life is about. Life is about being content and recognizing the truly important things. Christmas is a day where it is either really easy to get lost in that OR it is really easy to be content in that. I pray that you understand the reason for the season because believe me if you did not, then you did not celebrate Christmas, at least for the right reasons. I am thankful for my wonderful gifts, but when it comes down to it I am thankful to have all the same gifts that Jesus had when he was born on to this earth to change it many many years ago. Christmas is about loving others, GIVING gifts, and being thankful that Jesus was born on this day to forever alter the world. I am thankful that I was able to see just how important the essential gifts are. Like I said, every year the way I see my Christmas presents change, but they become much more rewarding because I am slowly, but surely celebrating the proper reason for the season!
Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night!
Southern and Thankful