“For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace” (Isaiah 9:6).
True meaning of Christmas to Christians
Jesus’s birth and deity were foretold throughout Jewish scripture. These Jewish scriptures have since been adopted as the Christian’s Old Testament Bible. Today, Christians around the world celebrate Christmas as the incarnate coming of God to earth in the form of a man, Christ Jesus, to atone for sin. Jesus is celebrated at Christmas as the Savior of all mankind if you accept, through faith, his sacrificial death and resurrection for the forgiveness of sins. Christmas is one of the most sacred Christian holidays.
Is the spirit of Christmas still alive?
Some say, yes, but with a focus on Santa Claus rather than the birth of Christ Jesus. It has been given a new look throughout the years as Santa Claus takes center stage, often to the demise of celebrating Christ’s birth.
Who is Santa Claus?
The Santa Claus legend can be traced back hundreds of years to a monk named St. Nicholas. Behind the jolly, red-suited, shopping mall Santa of today lies a real person—St. Nicholas of Myra, a Christian monk who lived in the third century A.D., in what is now Turkey. Admired for his piety and kindness, it is believed St. Nicholas traveled the countryside helping the poor and sick.
The much-admired Nicholas became the center of a series of folk legends. He was credited with stopping a violent storm to save doomed sailors, donating money to a father forced to sell his daughters into prostitution, and even restoring to life a trio of boys who had been dismembered by an unscrupulous butcher. Today, Nicholas is considered the patron saint of sailors, children, wolves and pawnbrokers, among others—as well as the inspiration for the figure of Santa Claus.
Coping with childhood cancer and Covid-19 this Christmas
Whether you celebrate Christian’s true meaning of Christmas as the Savior’s birth, or make it a holiday for gift giving focusing on Santa Claus, times are tough this year. Unfortunately, times are even tougher for families coping with childhood cancer at Christmas. Gone are the big family gatherings and public celebrations. No mall visits with Santa or trips to interactive Christmas displays. We understand the challenge parents face to maintain a sense of normalcy during stressful situations like Covid and cancer. So what do you do when things are topsy turvy?
Nothing is more precious than creating memories with loved ones!
I can’t think of a better way to create fun memories together than baking Christmas cookies! Can you? Check out this fun and easy Christmas Cookie recipe your whole family is sure to love!
- 1 cup Land O Lakes® Butter, softened
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 cups finely chopped pecans
- Powdered sugar
- Heat oven to 325 degrees
- In a medium bowl cream butter, sugar together, add vanilla and mix well
- Add flour and pecans, mix well
- Chill dough in refrigerator
- Roll into 1 inch balls
- Place on cookie sheet 1 inch apart
- Bake for 16-18 minutes until slightly golden brown
- Cool for 5 minutes then roll in powdered sugar while still warm
- Roll again in powdered sugar when cool
- Use Peppermint extract for minty goodness!
- Add 1/4 cocoa powder for the chocolate lovers
- Substitute mini chocolate chips for pecans for a nut free treat
- Get creative with red and green mini M&M’s!
Giving gifts brings joy to everyone, givers and receivers!
The possibilities are endless! Consider this idea! Give your precious gifts of joy to others by wrapping cookies with clear decorative wrap tied with ribbons or decorate mason jars to create cookie containers!
At Here to Serve, our commitment is to help everyone have precious time with loved ones. Even in the midst of this pandemic, Christmas does not need to be lost. Celebrations may look different this year, but they can be even more precious and you find new ways to bring joy to this day.
If you know a family who have children newly diagnosed with cancer please contact us here. If you are inspired to help us spread the joy of precious gifts of time and resources with your donation this holiday season, please follow this.
By Amanda Enciso