Today i am going to share about my thankfulness for the Christmas holiday season. I believe the 'official' start of the holiday is when the 1st little flap of the Advent Calendar is opened, i could be mistaken as that is most likely a religious structural tradition. But, even that 'line' is beginning to gray, at least in America (mostly because i am not aware of what the following is like in other countries this time of year). You see, in early October retail stores began to bring out the trimmings, and the advertisements began to hint at the forthcoming blitz. For me, this aspect - the greed (for lack of a better word coming to mind), is a downer. It makes it look like a time of spending and getting, and not one of giving and/or gracious receiving - which, in my point of view, is what the holiday is truly about.
When i grew up from the magical time of childhood, i understood that Jesus was not born on the 25th of December. After some on-line research, etc. it would appear the likeliest candidate would be during the Feast of Tabernacles, which is generally celebrated late September/early-mid October. Since i have always seemed to begin to get excited about the Christmas season, even with the dulling of my festive spirit with Halloween, about this time - with it really picking up on 1-November - seems about right to me now.
For me, i can honestly say, the 'magic' has always been about the celebration of the birth of Christ. Even before i was a Christian i remember the wonder of a child coming to earth purported to be the Savior of all mankind. Of angels that sang to shepherds... of a young mother who could not find even the most basic of human accommodations. The songs 'Silent Night' & 'Oh Holy Night' stirred something deep within me, it honestly moved me to tears - and this for a boy who did not cry when his grandmothers or mother passed away, or even when a cousin was murdered.
Think about the implications... first it is accepted that Jesus Christ was actually born in to this world, that He was a teacher within the Jewish community of His day, that He was nailed to a crucifix in execution by the Romans are all historically accepted facts. Then, when you read His words that have been faithfully transcribed with a greater than 97.5% accuracy across all ancient examples of those who witnessed His life - with some of the earliest examples being dated to within less than a single generation of his recorded death, then one must conclude that He was either certifiable, or an amazing prophet. Then, when His life is looked at in comparison to the Old Testament and all the things it portended - astounding. It is up to each of us to accept, or reject Christ. While He is the One who reveals Himself to each of us, we will be taken in to account for our own actions, our own acceptance or rejection of what He did throughout His life.
Well, i have digressed from where i was originally going with this post, but, i am thankful for Christmas, and all that it means to me as a Christian.