By The Right Reverend Father Michael D. Jordan

A Christian author once overheard this conversation between two women in a charity shop: "My husband likes those Nativity cards, but I prefer something more (Christmassy!)" If "Christ" is taken out of Christmas, there’s nothing left to celebrate!

What have we been taught about the true meaning of Christmas? Could we be sending the wrong message to our children about Christmas? As the conversation between the two women in the charity shop clearly indicates, many people do not understand the true meaning of Christmas! What could be more (Christmassy) than the Nativity of Christ? What could be less in keeping with the teachings of Christ than the "give me more and more" attitude that many of our children are taught to have during Christmas?

Selfishness makes Christmas a burden, but love makes it a delight! The meaning of Christmas is "love", pure and simple! Unconditional love motivated God the Father to give His Only-Begotten Son, Jesus Christ to us as our Savior. Jesus Christ did not come into this world to receive, but to give! Indeed, Christ gave His all for us. He gave up His Heavenly Home to be born as a helpless infant. He, Whose Throne of Glory in Heaven cannot be described, gave it up, living in poverty without a roof over His head. He gave of Himself in healing infirmities. He shared His infinite knowledge in His Holy Teachings. He then gave His life on the Cross for our salvation.

Jesus Christ was not born into this world to give us material and perishable gifts. His gifts are love, forgiveness, and salvation. While those gifts were extremely costly to Him, we can give love and forgiveness free of charge because of the high price He paid for our salvation.

Here’s a suggestion for a Family Christmas Tradition that will teach your children the real meaning of Christmas:

Pick a person or family that needs assistance in some way – it could be a grandparent, relative or friend in a nursing home. It could be someone in the hospital or a person that lives alone and is isolated during the Christmas holiday. Have your children make a card or handcraft of some type for them, and visit this person with your children during the Christmas season. Let your children know that your family will be sharing love with this person and that this type of love is the real meaning of Christmas. Your children will learn that giving does not need to be materialistic in order to express true Christ like love. I think you will be surprised at just how much love your children will put into this effort.