Christmas for me as a child were B-I-G. Mom would go stand in lines the day after Thanksgiving to get the toys we requested. She'd get us almost everything on our list and made sure that "Santa" did not disappoint. Some of the toys I remember, like the clown Cabbage Patch Kid. Others I probably played with for a week and then they made their way to the bottom of the toy box.
The one thing I do not remember about Christmas as a child is hearing about the birth of Christ. Maybe it's not that my parents didn't tell us about it, but the focus of Christmas was not on Christ, but on gifts.
As a teenager, when my family all meet Christ and called him Savior, it was a little late to change the focus of Christmas from presents and me, me, me, to a little lowly baby in a manger. The damage was already done.
My husband and I wanted Christmas to be different for our kids. Our child are not asked by us (others ask them, but we do not!) what they want for Christmas, they don't even expect anything.
Why? If you ask them, you will hear, "It's not birthday, it's Jesus'!"
We explained that on their own birthday we spoil them. They pick the dinner, they have the choice to be surprised by gifts we purchase or they can raid the toy store and pick their own. They choose their cake, the ice cream, the party decor. It's thier big to do as they wish!
We've explained that Christmas is Jesus' big day. So though we cannot give him a tangible gift, we can show others we love Jesus by giving to those who do not have.
Seldom do we buy a bunch of gifts for our family members. At first feelings were hurt, but as they came to know that we give gifts to those around us who we know are in need they were okay! We find a family that we know cannot afford some basic things and we try our best to bless them.
Our kids do receive a gift from us. A gift, as in one! It is not what some would think as 'big ticket items' but it truly something they we know they will enjoy. We encourage our kids to remember that Christmas is not about the lights, the tree and all the gifts, it is about Jesus!
What would Jesus ask as his birthday wish? I don't think it would be for the newest game system or the 55' big screen TV.
I think he would ask for us to do as He said He did:
"I seek not to please myself but Him who sent me."
What do YOU think Jesus would ask for?