Every year, Christmas comes too fast. That’s not to say I don’t look forward to it, as I surely do, along with all the little joys, decorations, and memories forged over the season. But it always seems to show up before I’m quite ready, then it’s gone before I’ve had time to fully enjoy it. I often find myself sighing with both relief and disappointment when the season winds down and is relegated to one more checked item on my year’s list.

Of course, there’s so much to love about Christmas, even as the details change with time. When I was a child, my siblings and I would sing carols on Christmas Eve with our parents. Now, I sing those same carols with my own daughters. In those days, Christmas meant late to bed and late to rise. Now it still means late to bed—but up early with the sunny faces of my kids, excited to run to the living room.

But Christmas is so much more than a holiday, a giant decoration-fest, or a reason to enjoy a meal together with friends and loved ones. It marks a point in time when human history began to change. The first Christmas reset time forever with its unprecedented truth—that God had come to dwell with us in the person of Jesus, whose death on the cross would bring the gift of eternal life to all who believe.

I want to make each Christmas a time when I leave things behind that hold me in the past, as I move forward into the newness of life that Christ brought by His birth. For me, Christmas is the perfect time to reset the clock and start afresh. It’s a constant reminder that God saw us as worthy of redemption then, and He still does today, and that we are capable of renewal.

This Christmas may also be the last Christmas for many things in my life. Friends move away, children grow up, circumstances change. So I want to savor the little moments and take note of the big ones. I choose to live with the joy that Christmas affords—and look to the future with hope.