Forgotten At Christmas
My father was born on this day- December 22. For his entire life, he was always getting “combination” presents – birthday and Christmas. Every year on his birthday, there weren’t balloons and birthday streamers. His birthday decorations were Christmas trees, Christmas lights and Santa Claus stuff. When he did get a separate present for Christmas, chances are it would be wrapped with… you guessed it- Christmas paper.
I remember him telling me how as a child he couldn’t help but feel a little cheated. People were so busy celebrating Christmas that his birthday got overlooked.
A couple of years ago, I saw a cartoon in the Atlanta paper that really touched my heart and made me think. It was drawn by Mike Luckovich, the Pulitzer Prize winning political cartoonist for the Atlanta Journal and Constitution. It showed a little girl with a birthday hat on standing in the middle of a sea of gaudy Christmas decorations. The dejected looking little girl says, “You know, when your birthday comes at Christmas time, people just forget all about it.”
Standing behind the little girl, looking equally sad, is Jesus.
“Tell me about it,” he says.
Just like the little girl in the cartoon – and my dad in real life – Jesus’ birthday is all too often forgotten about because of Christmas. How ironic! What started out as an observance of His birth has somehow morphed into gaudy decorations, parties, shopping, songs about decking halls and jingling bells, and some vague acknowledgment of peace on earth and good will among men.
The real Christmas is remembering the greatest and most costly gift we will ever be given. It is when we stop to take in the awe of the only child Who ever chose to be born. It is when we stop to remember this child would soon also choose to give His life up. For you. For me.
Let’s purpose in our hearts that this year we won’t get so caught up in Christmas that we forget Jesus’ birthday.