It’s Christmas, and I love to sing! It’s almost a subconscious action at this point—whether I’m walking or sitting or on my phone, I’ll be singing. It’s something I do throughout the whole year, but when Christmastime rolls around, I sing even more. I love the beautiful lyrics of classic Christmas carols, and I like that I can sing so freely about a message so precious without anyone thinking it’s weird, because it’s Christmas!

One song in particular will always get stuck in my head for weeks and weeks afterwards. It has a great melody and is just fun to sing. It goes…

What is Christmas, do you know?

Is it pretty gifts and shiny toys

All wrapped up so nice and bright for little girls and boys?

Is it pretty mistletoe,

Cheery lights, and sparkling Christmas trees?

No, these do not Christmas make.

I’m sure it’s more than these.

Then it crescendos to the chorus, which states that Jesus was born all those many years ago, and that is what makes Christmas.

Another Christmas song I love imparts a similar sentiment and, when I was young, I used to sing it with a group as a performance. We had a lot of other dance numbers, poems, and plays as part of the show, but we all knew that this song was the one we wanted to get right. My favorite part of it went…

When holiday lights have all gone dim

Will you still remember Him?

When ornaments are packed away

Will the Christmas spirit with you stay?

This song, whenever we’d perform it, would bring people to tears within the crowd and we would have many people coming up to us afterwards to say how much the song moved them. The idea of the love that Christmas is supposed to help us dwell on being packed away with all the extra fluff and frills of the season is a powerful one. A lot of people listening to us could resonate with the concept of losing the closeness that they had felt to God once the world would move on to the next thing and the stores would bring in some other money-making event.

More and more, I hear people talking about how they don’t enjoy Christmas as much anymore, due to how commercialized it’s become. For me, Christmas is not about the decorations, or the dinner, or the gifts. It’s about love, about the proof of God’s loving nature manifested in the gift of His Son. Everything else is brilliant and moment-making…but extra. None of those things make Christmas. They’re not what it’s about.

It can be hard to counter the message that it’s about the perfect gift, the perfect display, the perfect tree, etc. We all succumb to the pressure now and then, but when you find yourself in this position and you’re autopiloting Christmas with meaningless activities and trappings of the season, take a pause. Read the story of Jesus’ birth again and meditate on it for a while. That’s what Christmas is about. And that is worth singing about and celebrating!

Place the real meaning of Christmas at the center of your mind and heart throughout the whole month, so that no matter what the rest of the world is doing, we can give Jesus the birthday celebration He deserves.