Just Before the Biggest Holiday of the Year, (for most of us)
Christmas is usually seen as fun in that many people have office parties, buy each other gifts, go out and visit family/friends, meet new people, or simply go out for entertainment more, since they usually do not have time to do this more often as daily work and routine takes precedence.
Christmas means something a little more to me as it does to many like me. I am not religious by any means, but I have made a choice to trust someone. I trusted what Jesus said, and what other people in his time said about him. He seemed to me to be the only one in history that had the answers: all of them. It's not a big to-do, or a magical, aesthetic ride or activity working my way to Heaven.
I don't exercise a host of regimented, traditional, sacrificial observances to believe what Jesus said or did. I don't feel guilty about not showing up for church three times a week, nothing like that. I look up now and then, and I am just thankful that Jesus taught me about love and forgiveness, and I try to be the best human being I can be, but my success is not dependent on me. Jesus taught me about endurance in a world that is not fair, not always kind, and not always balanced. Yet, Jesus has given me hope. I have this great hope that HIS plan for a new world in eternity will not have the problems of hate, greed, torture, death, cruelty, and manipulation; or any other things that make people sorry, sad, and despairing. He promised, and I believe him. THIS is the reason I see Christmas as such an important time. I love the MAN who came in the flesh that announced to the world that he was the Son of God, and that he wanted us to be with him in eternity.
Like nature, we realize what he was talking about: a flower is born (like us), it grows beautifully, and comes to fruition (like us), and then it begins to die (like us). But after the natural comes the spiritual, and here is where I am so thankful I have decided to believe him. I live with the hope of the joy, and the everlasting love that only Jesus has been able to help me experience. I love Christmas; it is part of my culture; not the Happy Holiday culture of buying presents and all that comes with it, that commercialism lords over. But the culture of those who chose even in his time, to believe that Jesus was who he said he was, and could do what he said he would do, if we trust him. I love Christmas. It should be in us all year long. I work at that concept, but I'm not graded on this, because Jesus said he has spoken to his father, and I am already accepted through him. Jesus is such a forgiving big brother; he knows I'm still natural, and someday when I'm spiritual he'll say, "Welcome home!"