Wanting to instill the true meaning of Christmas, Santy asked our grandchildren, “What is Christmas?” One of them quietly answered, “It’s the day we open our Christmas gifts.” Oh no! Thank God his older brother immediately corrected him, “It’s the day we celebrate the birth of Jesus.” Hallelujah! Was I happy to hear the right answer.
Christmas has always been associated with gift-giving. Throughout my childhood, I looked forward to Christmas because it was the day, I received a gift from my Sunday school’s teacher. However, it’s not really a gift, it’s more like a reward, because it’s always tied with our attendance—the better the attendance, the fancier the gift.
Christmas, the day we remember and celebrate the birth of Jesus, is a gift-giving day. Isaiah 9:6 provides the basis for it, “For unto us a Child is born; unto us a Son is given.” Christmas was the day God gave us Jesus, His Only Son. He was the most precious gift God can ever give us and we can ever receive. Through Jesus and in Him we received forgiveness of sin and the promise of eternal life. No gift is ever greater than the Gift God gave us on that Christmas Day.
But unlike the gifts I received from my Sunday school teachers, the Gift God gave us is not tied with our Sunday’s attendance or good behavior. Romans 5:8 teaches us, “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” In other words, my poor “attendance” has no bearing on my receiving God’s Most Precious Gift. He gave because He loved us.
So, come to think about it, our grandson’s definition of Christmas was not off. Christmas is the day we open the Christmas gift—and that Gift is Jesus, the Son of God. Yes, Christmas is the day when we, not only receive the Gift, but also keep the Gift as ours forever.