This morning I joined our school children for Morning Prayer. I asked them if there was an important day coming up to which they responded yes. Then, I asked what the day was. Lots of hands went up and I told them to say it aloud together. They gave me a very enthusiastic “Christmas.”
I then asked them what happens on Christmas. I figured the first answer would be “presents.” I am very pleased to say I was wrong. Lots of hands went up and I picked one student at random to give his answer. I am very pleased to say that his answer was, “It’s Jesus birthday.”
Of course, that is the correct answer and I knew if I asked enough students, sooner or later one of them would say it was Jesus’ birthday. For Christmas we have parties, share meals, and exchange presents but it is all about Jesus.
Then, the discussion turned to presents. I asked them why did we give presents. The first response was because the magi brought presents for Jesus. Then we talked about how we give presents because we love. Next, I asked them if they were going to give presents to other people. Most of them answered no (the school is pre-school through fifth grade). I told them even though they couldn’t give presents, they could tell everyone who gives them a present that they love them. They could even give them a hug.
Christmas is Jesus’ birthday. Everything else, the parties, the meals, and presents are all meant to remind us of Jesus.