Governor Baker said this week in a COVID-19 update that a recent survey indicated that 70% of MA residents intend to celebrate Christmas “less” this year, being alone at home or with their immediate family, and 30% said they will celebrate Christmas with people outside their household this year. It’s not going to be the same this year and it really doesn’t seem like a whole lot of fun, does it? This caused me to think of other Christmas settings where people were alone for the holiday…

Who can forget how Kevin McCallister spent Christmas in the outrageous comedy Home Alone? He survived and brought down a neighborhood crime duo in the process.

I remember my first Christmas in the Air Force—alone in the barracks at Westover with a few Christmas albums to listen to and Christmas dinner at the mess hall. Fortunately, I was able to get a three-day pass a few weeks later and take a trip home to my family and fiancée in Ohio for a late Christmas celebration.

Then there is the young new family we read of in the Bible. Under the Governor’s orders, they had to spend the first Christmas far away from their home in accommodations that were way less than any expecting couple would ever want. To top it off, Mary delivered her firstborn child and laid Jesus in an animal feeding trough, with no family around to celebrate with them.

The first Christmas was going to be celebrated by just immediate family all alone, until God had some shepherds show up with the “little drummer boy.” (Well, actually the “little drummer boy” didn’t show up until a few years later, like not until 1951, when it was first recorded by the Von Trapp Family singers. But that’s another story.)

The point is, just because COVID-19 restrictions call for immediate-family only settings this year doesn’t mean we have to celebrate Christmas less. We can actually celebrate Christmas more. Here are a few ways to do that and bring honor to the Christ of Christmas:

  • Give a gift to someone you normally wouldn’t
  • Read the Christmas story found in Luke 2:1-20 on Christmas morning
  • Share your story of faith in the Christ of Christmas on social media
  • Give someone a call who you haven’t spoken with in a long time
  • Provide a meal for a homeless person through the Springfield Rescue Mission or a local soup kitchen
  • And, of course, there is good ol’ Zoom to actually see those near to you in heart

“And so the angel said to them, ‘Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of great joy which will be for all the people; for today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.’” – Luke 2:10-12

Jesus, our Savior, was born alone with just his parents, but since then the celebration has never ended. Take time this year to ask God to show you ways to celebrate Christmas MORE in 2020. And always remember—JESUS REALLY IS THE HOPE OF THE WORLD.

Pastor Bryan