4 ways Christmas changes after you know Jesus

If you became a Christian between last Christmas and this Christmas, you’ve probably asked at least one of these questions: 

Is it OK if I still love non-Christian Christmas songs? 
What do Christians do for Christmas?
Are there new things I need to do? Or old things I need to stop doing?

Rest assured: there is no official list of Christian Christmas rules. You don’t have to run out and buy a nativity set or delete “Santa Claus is Coming to Town” from your playlist. You can continue taking your kids to see Santa if that’s what your family likes to do. Enjoy dinner at Grandma’s house, and don’t stress if you say “Happy Holidays” instead of “Merry Christmas.”  

Following Jesus is not about rules; it’s a relationship. And Christmas is about celebrating the One you’re in that relationship with.

Following Jesus is not about rules; it’s a relationship. And Christmas is about celebrating the One you’re in that relationship with.

What you will find is that you experience Christmas in a whole new way. When you become a Christian, the way you see Jesus changes (2 Corinthians 5:16-17). And the Holy Spirit changes the way we see and interact with the world (1 Corinthians 2:6-16).

Four Ways You Experience Christmas Differently as a Christian 

1. You develop a new understanding of the Christmas story.

Before meeting Jesus you probably knew that Christians celebrate Jesus’ birth at Christmas. But you might not have really understood why it’s a big deal. 

In Matthew 1:20-23, an angel of the Lord comes to Joseph (Jesus’ earthly father) and tells him not to be afraid that Mary is pregnant “because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.’ … ‘The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel’ (which means ‘God with us’).”

Jesus came into this world as a baby in order to be both fully God and fully man. He lived the entire human experience, so He understands when we are tempted and when we are hurting. And He lived a life without sin in order to be the perfect sacrifice for our sins, so we can have a relationship with God through Him. 

On Christmas, we celebrate the day that God Himself came to earth to dwell with us, save us, and have a relationship with us.

2. Christmas means more to you than decorations, family, and presents.

With this new understanding of the Christmas story, comes a new appreciation for Christmas. Rather than only focusing on Santa, traditions, family dinners, and gift exchanges, Christmas becomes a time to reflect on and celebrate the miracle and grace of Jesus’ birth.

This doesn’t mean we have to give up the Christmas traditions we’re used to; it simply means our perspective changes. Maybe we add some new traditions like reading the Christmas story or baking a birthday cake for Jesus.

3. You experience real joy.

However, we choose to celebrate Christmas, doing it with Jesus allows us to experience real joy. Obligations, financial stress, family drama, and expectations can put a damper on our celebrations, but Jesus promises that He’s overcome all of these things (John 16:33). 

Joy is a gift that the Holy Spirit gives us (Galatians 5:22-23). And when we focus on Jesus and worship Him with thankful hearts, we receive joy beyond measure. 

4. You begin to focus more on giving than getting. 

Jesus is the ultimate gift. “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16). As we grow in our relationship with Jesus, we become more like Him, which means we become givers, too.

As a Christian, you’ll start to notice your perspective changing. Instead of focusing so much on what you will get for Christmas, you grow in excitement about what you can give and how you can bless others. 

As you celebrate Christmas this year, don’t worry about what you’re supposed to do. Instead, receive joy from the Holy Spirit, and savor what it means to be in a relationship with Jesus.

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