I was listening to my favorite Christian radio station the other day when, ‘It’s Christmas!’ by Mandisa started playing. I love the words to this song because, like many others, they serve as a reminder of the reason we celebrate this time of the year.
While I enjoy many of the external strands of the season, my desire is to always keep my focus on Him. This is why family traditions and celebrating the true meaning of Christmas are so important to me.
As a child I wrote my share of letters to Santa, carefully prepared the cookies and milk for his arrival, and enjoyed the parties and pictures with him.
But when I look back at the childhood traditions, the most significant thing I remember is following instructions from my parents to give them a list of three gifts that I wanted. I remember being curious as to why just three presents, and they made sure my sister and I knew the real reason and significance of the number three.
Turns out, it was a beautiful story to be shared, over and over again through the years. You see the three gifts symbolize the three gifts the Wise Men brought to Jesus. If three gifts were enough for our King, they would be enough for us.
Matthew 2:11 tells us that the Wise Men brought Gold, Frankincense and Myrrh to Baby Jesus. Each one carried special meaning and contributed to the story of the birth and life of Jesus Christ. These valuable items were highly prized gifts to honor a king.
The gift of gold symbolizes precious metal and something of great value. (So choose an item for your children that holds special meaning; it doesn’t have to be expensive to be treasured.)
The gift of frankincense is a wonderful fragrance or incense and symbolizes something spiritual because it was used in worship. (Buy your children a Bible, a worship CD, a Bible story book, or any number of other items that will help develop and grow their Christian walk.)
The gift of myrrh is an anointing oil that symbolizes something for the body. Research says myrrh was for medicinal use, and was brought to the baby Jesus for His eventual sacrifice. (For this gift, buy your children a special piece of clothing, a fragrance, or shoes—something for the body.)
While I never considered any of my three gift requests to be grand or highly prized, I always believed my parents put real thought into each present they selected. They were everything I wanted, needed and in many cases, cherished.
So how do we teach our children and others this same significance of the three gifts? How can our traditions assist us in building future generations of believers who honor Jesus?
We can always ensure a lot of the red, green and all the trimmings, but how can we lead our children and others to celebrate THE REAL REASON FOR THE SEASON? Let me encourage you to be a part of building a nation of Christians that celebrate Christ at every turn.
Click on comments at the top of this post and share your family traditions, favorite scriptures, and celebrations that will encourage all of us to seek Jesus and honor Him this Christmas season.
Joy & Blessings!