The Real Meaning of Christmas

Cathy Hurtado

"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life."  John 3:16

When I was growing up, Christmas at my house was wonderful.  Everyone year, our Christmas season was like one of those wonderful Christmas movies.  I never appreciated the work it took until well into adulthood.  The year I gave my life to Christ I came home from college as usual.  While I was unloading the car, I dropped my alarm clock and broke it.  As a result, an alarm clock became my most coveted gift.  Christmas Eve arrived with all of its festive grandeur.  We celebrated all day, had our meal, and waited to open our gifts.   My parents were always incredibly generous at the holidays and always made sure it was fair.  As the gifts were coming to an end, I realized that I did not get my radio.  It never occurred to me that maybe they had already finished their shopping.  It never occurred to me that I could just go down to the store and buy one with the cash in my wallet.  Instead I set about ruining the evening for everyone.

I went to bed that night and the conviction Holy Spirit came heavy on me.  I was only a couple months old in the Lord so this was the worst I’d ever experienced.  I picked up my Bible and read the Christmas story from Luke 2.  For the first time in my life, I saw the depravity of my heart, how selfish and mean I was capable of being.  It also reminded me, a relatively good person, that I desperately needed a Savior.  I was shocked at how quickly my heart could become so evil and me so self-focused.  As unpleasant as it was at the time, I am grateful for the lesson I learned.  Christmas was not about clock radios, or fulfilling my desires.  It was about celebrating the birth of the Savior that I desperately needed.  Christmas has never been the same since.  It’s not about stuff.  It’s not about me.  It’s about Jesus.


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