I don’t remember a lot of my earliest Christmases, but the Christmases of mid and late 50’s are the Christmases of my childhood and I still have visions of those magical days. I will always remember what the Christmas tree looked like in our living room when the three of us kids would sneak downstairs early Christmas morning. My mom would spend hours putting it up. She was meticulous in its selection and creative with its illumination. It stood in the center of our living room window, the very same place, every year of my childhood. Mom would move the chairs out of the way and the tree would light up the room and all the cars and pedestrians would see our tree from the street. There were beautiful red, gold, blue and green balls hanging from the limbs. Tinsel hung down from every branch sometimes so thick you couldn’t see through it. There were dozens of various colored lights wrapped around the tree from top to bottom. There was an angel on the top. No other light in the house was on, just the tree. From the lights on the tree the multitude of presents were seen all around the tree’s base. The shiny wrapping paper was strangely reflective of the various lights from the tree.

As soon as Thanksgiving was over, I remember Christmas music playing in the house much of the time. My mother loved it! Music is a huge part of the Christmas Holiday season. There is special music for this season with a focus on the traditional songs and hymns that arouse nostalgic memories for us all. We’ve heard most of this music in our childhood and have fond memories of the greatest time of the year. As I’m sure you can too, I remember the great excitement that surrounded the Christmas season. The songs of my youth still arouse strong memories of those years. But this nostalgia shouldn’t be the most important thing!

Now, don’t get me wrong! I love the nostalgia that Christmas brings to me. However, over the years I’ve learned that I should not only approach Christmas emotionally, but also factually. It’s easy to get carried away by nostalgia and lose the most significant meaning of Christmas. As A. W. Tozer writes, “The theology of Christmas too easily gets lost under the gay wrappings.” He adds that “apart from the theological meaning” of Christmas it really has no meaning at all. Most of the Christmas music we’ll hear this year celebrates the season and the holiday, but not the true meaning of Christmas. Tozer adds that only “A half dozen doctrinally sound carols serve to keep alive the great deep truth of the Incarnation, but aside from these, popular Christmas music is void of any real lasting truth.” Much of the music we will hear makes Frosty, Rudolph, Santa, and the tree itself the focus of our celebration. Let’s focus our attention, fine tune our thinking, on the Christ Child. He’s the central figure of everything that Christmas is all about. “For unto you a child is born… unto you a son is given” Isaiah 9:6.