Why we celebrate ChristmasNov 23, 2020 10:40AM ● By Vic Stinemetze
It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas.
Christmas has always been a big deal in our family. As a kid growing up, we lived in a rural neighborhood in central Kansas. My father was a farmer, and the closest town was 17 miles away, boasting a population of 1,000 people. We had no major department stores; just a small JCPenney, a Sears Roebuck, a Montgomery Ward Order House and a couple of “five and dime” stores.
Each year our family got catalogs in the mail. As kids, we’d meticulously go through them, circling the things we hoped to receive for Christmas. The small school I attended had an all-school Christmas program—usually on Christmas Eve—and at the end, Santa came down the aisle giving out bags of candy to everyone who attended. It was a major community event.
Then, we went home to open our presents and someone read the Christmas story from the Bible. On Christmas Day, we had lots of family around us. It was a wonderful time of visiting and loving one another.
As I grew up and started my own family, my wife’s family traditions were added. We still get together on Christmas Eve to open gifts. We’ve added Communion to our tradition.
On Christmas Day we all come together, but instead of the traditional Christmas meal, soups, finger sandwiches and desserts are the order of the day. Our family has several extended children that we call “spiritual sons and daughters” and we invite them to join us. We eat all afternoon and play games into the evening.
But the thing I’m most thankful for is that our family has always celebrated the birth of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Even though history shows us the date probably isn’t correct, we celebrate the birth of our Savior who was born of a virgin woman impregnated by the Holy Spirit.
The Son of God humbled himself to go through the natural birth process and to be born in a barn filled with cattle, even being laid in a feed trough. So was born the son of the Creator of all.
That Creator, who also fashioned you and me together, loves us so much that He was willing to sacrifice His own son to be killed on a cross so that you and I could have life. He only asks that we believe in Him. Jesus paid a debt He did not owe. A debt we could not pay for ourselves, simply because He loves us.
This is why our family celebrates Christmas.