the true meaning

Christmas has been my favorite holiday for as long as I can remember. I like the flurry of excitement, the food, the traditions that are wrapped around the season and tied neatly with a bow. But this year...maybe it's because I'm getting older and some of the magic has faded or the fact that time is simply going too quickly, but that little seed of Christmas cheer that's usually planted in the beginning of December just wasn't there this year. Feelings of excitement and joy were replaced with stress and exhaustion -- and the harder I tried to get that cheer, the less I succeeded.
Until I realized something; those things aren't what this time of year is about. It's not about feeling merry and bright -- it's about the quiet anticipation of the birth of our Savior, who humbled himself to be born of a virgin, who died the death of a criminal on a cross. For us. He who is perfectly holy and perfect hung on a cross, for our sins, so that all who believe in him may live in Heaven eternally.

That's what should be on my heart this Christmas, not lamenting the fact that my enthusiasm is missing. And I found, that once I focused on the true meaning, the excitement for December 25th came with it.
Tomorrow is Christmas Eve, which brings the eleven pm candlelight service, my absolute favorite of the year. I am excited to spend a weekend of family and food, excited to relish in festivities, and most of all, excited to celebrate the birth of our Lord.

And because I can't bear to go without my favorite Christmas video ever...

Merry, merry Christmas, friends.