The Christmas season. In the words of the 1960s classic sung by recording artist Andy Williams, it’s the most wonderful time of the year. Christmas does have rival holidays, but ask kids to name their favorite and Christmas wins almost every time. Why? What is so wonderful about the Christmas season?
There’s the anticipation of opening the gifts under the tree, of course. As a child, I would dream about getting a chemistry set, a Polaroid camera, and the granddaddy of them all, a green Schwinn bicycle. The best Christmas memory of my childhood was the year I got “the bike.”
Christmas is also a wonderful time for creating family memories. Rachael and I like to slow down our homeschooling schedule between Thanksgiving and the new year to allow for special family times together, both planned and spontaneous. These include the usual choir concerts and drama productions at church, but also extend to game nights at the kitchen table, baking treats for friends, personalized gift-making projects, and caroling in the neighborhood.
Of course, we all want to teach our kids that Christmas is more about giving than receiving. As parents, we often find it hard not to take Psalm 23 to an extreme during the season. (You know, “The Lord is my shepherd, I SHALL NOT WANT . . .”)
But when we stop to think about the deeper meaning of Christmas, the significance of God coming to live among us in the flesh, we really begin to understand and appreciate that “every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights” (James 1:17, nkjv), and that’s what truly makes Christmas so beautiful.
If you focus on the gifts during this holiday season, especially if you put an emphasis on giving or generosity during the season, then you can have a “good” Christmas. If you stop to look into the eyes of your spouse and children and make sure they know how much you love them, then you will have a “better” Christmas.
But to enjoy the best possible Christmas season, you will need to think and reflect on the immeasurable gift God gave us by sending His Son to live among us and die on the cross for our sins, and then raising Him to life on the third day. And if you can do all of the above, then this Christmas season may indeed turn out to be the most wonderful time of the year.
Davis Carman is president and owner of Apologia Educational Ministries, Inc. He and his wife, Rachael, have graduated 2 of their 7 children and live in North Carolina. Davis is the Administrative Vice President for North Carolinians for Home Education and has served on the board since 2002. He is the author of the children's book Good Morning, God.