Some people don’t care for holidays, they’d rather “celebrate” all year long and give thanks to their parents, enjoy friends every day not just on their birthdays, and date regularly not just on Valentine’s Day.  I suppose there’s some sense in that way of thinking, but what I’ve often observed is that without a celebration planned, months and even years go by with a celebration taking place!

Christmas is one of those celebrations that’s debatable among many:

  • To give or not to give gifts, because this world is full of needs and charity can be offered to those in need. 

  • Should we really spend that much time and effort to get together, when we’re tired afterwards and the house is a wreck?

  • Christmas Day is just a date on a calendar, and we can just enjoy the season and sights without a huge fanfare.

  • Our kids don’t want gifts; they’d rather have cash to spend, so why labor to think of the presents?

  • Family shows up that we don’t like, so let’s just stay home alone and not get together.


I’ve heard all of the above, and more, haven’t you?  And while there are some valid reasons to at least rethink and reevaluate our priorities, to not celebrate should never be our conclusion!  Celebration is what life is all about! Let’s look at each one of those sentiments listed above, once more:

Giving gifts to our kids and their kids doesn’t have to drain our accounts dry, but they need to see us give, they need to learn to receive, and they need to be taught to be thankful.  It’s not the gift giving that makes for spoiled rotten kids.  Giving (even in time and homemade things) is a beautiful act of love, and celebrating that giving on Christmas morning can be beautiful as well, if we choose to make it so. When we say, “Thank you,” our kids hear it and smile.  So husbands, wives, kids and all…let’s give!  Charity giving? Yes!  Do both, either little or big…but give!

It takes time to shop and wrap and think and make lists, but we often make it more burdensome than it needs to be by the pressure we place on our own shoulders  to be perfect.  If it’s stressful, trim it down.  Dole out and delegate.  Ask for help in cleaning.  Don’t try to be a super Santa.   Create a celebration that’s within your range of comfort.  And enjoy.  Keep it simple and sane.

Every day IS just a date on the calendar.   But all of the holidays and celebrations are just reasons to smile and do something for someone else.  It’s what Mother’s Day, Valentine’s Day, Christmas, and more are all about – giving in thought and time and love – to others.  How can those reminders be ignored?  Instead of grieving over the commercialism, just look forward to the next time to show him/her/them a good time and some love!

Giving kids just cash at Christmas – not a fan of that.  There’s something to learn and to mature from, in the opening of gifts on Christmas morning with the family.  We learn to be grateful, even if it’s not a practical gift we’ll ever use.  We are allowed the privilege of blessing someone with a surprise that shows we thought of them deeply.  We experience the beauty of unwrapping a surprise.  We give of ourselves and our love, instead of just emptying our pockets.  Cash can be part of the gifts, but please not all!

Families can be the most annoying people we know, which is so unfortunate.  I get it.  But if the elders call the family together and you are asked to show up, go by and be gracious.  Maybe that cousin is despicable, or that older family member talks unfiltered, or that little kid is out of control.  Let your kids see you show up, be kind, and love others that are different in the family – so that they can then love others that are different outside in the world.

There’s a lot to learn and to enjoy from celebration of any kind, every day of the year, yes.  But there’s also SO MUCH to be said for making it a point to celebrate on specific days, because we all know we need a prompt to make things really happen.  After all, that day that HE was born was pretty special – it was God’s gift to us all – and now we have the privilege of giving to others. 

Christmas Day is coming.  Celebrate.

Why Celebrate?
by Marcy Lytle

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