Realistic Christmas Expectations

What are your expectations for Christmas?  Do your expectations match reality?

All of us want the focus of Christmas to be on Christ, and we tend to be appalled when our children tear through presents but sigh with sleepiness as we read through the story of Christ's birth.  But they are children.

"When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child...

Don't misunderstand what I am saying.  We don't toss the deeper meaning of Christmas aside and say, "Oh well.  Someday they'll get it."  We continue to draw the focus of Christmas back to Christ.  This is our holiday, not the world's.  We celebrate the coming of Christ because we as believers know the impact and magnitude of Christ's arrival most poignantly.

We must also realize, however, that our children are just that: children. If we expect them to respond to Christmas like children, our expectations will meet reality.  Then we can joyfully lead them by the hand into a more mature understanding of the Gospel.  We can smile at them with the sweet knowledge that God has much work to do in their lives.  We can acknowledge that we adults, too, have but a vague, dimly lit understanding of the fullness of Christ's ministry while on earth.

Enjoy those little ones.  Their wide-eyed wonder at our earthly celebrations will fully mature someday when they are struck by the gravity and meaning of the grace of God in the midst of their sin.

...but when I became a man, I put away childish things."  I Corinthians 13:11