We all wish each other "Happy Christmas" at this time of year, but what do we mean? What is a happy Christmas? I would suggest that the key thing is our expectations. Kids are looking forward to Father Christmas; some of us are looking forward to someone's face when they open the present we have chosen so carefully; Mum is looking forward to having all the family together. And the happiness of Christmas will be how far those expectations are met.
So how do you make a happy Christmas? Perhaps you should start well before and find out what people's expectations are, and think about how you can see that they are fulfilled. Or maybe you need to gently help them to adjust their expectations, to avoid disappointment. But most of all, you need to look at your expectations. Are you hoping for too much? Are you asking everyone else to see to it that you have a happy Christmas?
Society today has become so materialistic, that it pains me to hear people, especially children and teenagers, express the thought that their Christmas cannot be happy unless they receive that one special present they are hoping for. The giving of gifts should be more about the expression of love than about the actual gift. I remember one year when our youngest daughter had no money, she gave us a photo frame with pictures of all our children, and a poem on the back. It meant so much because she had put so much thought and effort into it.
Christmas is about love. It all started because of the love of God, sending his only Son to rescue humanity when we couldn't do anything ourselves. The gifts we give, the visits we make, the food we cook, are all to reflect that love in the way we love each other. If we can remember that, we will have a happy Christmas.
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