Christmas in my family has always been a little mixed up. When we lived in Indonesia gift-giving took place, not on the December 25th, rather, it took place on 5th – the Feast of St Nicholas. This is a tradition inherited from the Dutch. Christmas then continued through December 25th (Christmas One), December 26th (Christmas Two) and Epiphany (weeks running through January).

These days my family actually celebrate Christmas and the exchange of gifts a day late on December 26th or Boxing Day. Having two parents serving as full-time Ministers of the Word has been a bit of an issue for my children. But Christmas is particularly challenging since both Laurel and I are pretty busy at the time.

This year it will be heavy going as Christmas Eve is a Sunday followed by Christmas Day on the Monday. Come the afternoon of December 25th, both my wife and I will be ready for nothing less than a good long snooze!

But Tuesday December 26th will be a special day. On this day we will celebrate Christmas together as a family. With the test cricket on the radio, the Sydney-Hobart yacht race on the tv and the family gathered around the table in Blacktown to share in the joy of this season, there is a lot to look forward to.

As this Christmas season approaches, we have much to celebrate. It really doesn’t matter how we do it. But what’s important is that we do not forget the “what” and the “why” of this time.

“Jesus is the reason for the season” the saying goes. We have probably heard it all before. Indeed, the name says it – Christmas is about Christ – isn’t it?

How-ever you celebrate Christmas and when-ever you do it, do plan and celebrate this time by making room for Jesus.

Put the “Christ” into your Christmas. Acknowledge and give thanks for the Son of God born among us. Celebrate with joy the one who is Emmanuel – “God with us”.

For Jesus is, indeed, the reason for the season!

Rev John Barr