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“…And that’s what Christmas is all about!”  (Fade out.)

Noooooo, Hallmark Channel heroine!  I think to myself for the umpteenth time.  That’s NOT what Christmas is all about! You just missed your chance!

Listen, there’s so much more to Christmas than baking cookies, building snowmen, caroling or whatever else gives people the warm fuzzies they crave this time of year, and the world needs to know it!

God sent His cherished Son to be sacrificed so sinners could call Him Father, too, for crying out loud, and whether or not those of us who know, believe and claim to have been changed by this mind-blowing truth ever get the chance to shout it from the rooftops, we should, at the very least, do our best to illustrate it.

How do you do that?

Be generous.  With your time, attention, resources, estimation of others and forgiveness.  Like the Father, give freely without showing favoritism just as God sent Jesus to rescue all who put their faith in Him for salvation from the consequences of sin (Rom. 2:11, 10:13), letting Him meet the needs of others through you and your needs through others when generosity costs more than you anticipated.  When you treat people better than any of us deserve, you reflect a gracious Father.

Be patient.  Few things are as urgent and/or important as they seem in the moment, but your behavior always has the potential to make an eternal impact, so focus less on how others’ choices affect you and more on how your responses affect them.  When you choose compassionate restraint over immediate gratification, you reflect a merciful Father, Who not only made forgiveness for sin possible through Jesus’ death and resurrection, but even now delays Jesus’ return to give more sinners time to repent and join His family (2 Pet. 3:9).

Express gratitude.  The Father knows your needs before you ask Him and is already providing for them (Matt. 6:8, Phil. 4:19), just as He provided Jesus before you ever even knew you needed a Savior.  Look for His provision, choose contentment and remember, every good and perfect gift is from above (Jas. 1:17), no matter whose hands pass it along.  Wanted or not, tangible or intangible, verbalize sincere thanks for everything you receive.  When you honor human givers as conduits of God’s grace, you demonstrate confidence in His wisdom and model the faith and humility necessary for people to accept the greatest gift God’s ever offered, salvation through His Son (Rom. 10:9-10, John 1:12).

Want to celebrate Christmas well, Christian?  Leave every soul you meet with reason to believe in the saving, transforming power of the Gospel, which began with sweet Jesus’ birth.  The Father will take it from there (John 6:44-45).