My Christmas Gifts Weren’t Big Enough

We’ve shown this Christmas video to our preteen ministry:

They LOVE it.  And so do I. And while it has inaccuracies, it captures something that resonates with me personally.

My parents didn’t attend church. My dad was an atheist. And yet, we celebrated Christmas.

It wasn’t a celebration of Christ’s birth…or of Emmanuel – God with us.

Christmas for me was about receiving extravagant, unearned gifts. My parents would surprise me each year with something that would make my jaw drop and my heart leap.  A skateboard. A piano. A waterbed.

Now that I am a Christian, I realize that my childhood experience was pointing me to the actual meaning of Christmas.  See – Christmas really is about an extravagant, unearned gift. The gift of “God with us” is beyond measure when it comes to extravagance. It’s an understatement to say that the birth of Christ was unearned.

My parents had realized the beauty of extravagant, unearned gift-giving. The only problem was, my parents’ gifts to me were infinitely too small. What they gave me, though, was the wonderful, humbling feeling of awe and joy that Christmas really should inspire.

I love this video’s retelling of the Christmas story because it captures, in a way that preteens can relate to, the beauty and majesty of God’s extravagant, unearned gift.

I pray that this Christmas season, God gives you tools and ideas to help bring to life for the preteens you minister to the same jaw-dropping, heart-leaping feeling that Christmas used to bring to an atheist preteen boy from Rocklin. Times INFINITY.