Celebrating with fanfare!
Of course, a lot of the fanfare that we see in December doesn't have anything to do with Jesus. But without His birth, they wouldn't be going to all the trouble, and all of the fanfare of the 21st century doesn't compare to the fanfare that God pulled together to announce the birth of His son!
As we see and participate in the fanfare of Christmas this year, here are a few things to keep in mind that will keep the manger from getting swallowed up in the magnificence of the celebration.
Use the fanfare to celebrate our uniqueness in the body of Christ. If you are into the fanfare, don't see those who aren't as Scrooges. If you prefer a quieter celebration, don't look down on others as overly extravagant. Remember how Jesus commended Mary of Bethany for her extravagant offering of expensive perfume to anoint his feet (John 12:1-8).
Use the fanfare to bless others. If your house is amazingly decorated, invite your neighbors in! I have been blessed so often by my friends whose decorating skills outpace mine. If you get totally into Christmas baking, make enough to share with your local nursing home or women's shelter. If you do Christmas dinner in a big way, then invite someone to join you who isn't near family.
Use the fanfare to draw attention to Jesus. Include a nativity in your yard decorations. Invite people into your beautifully decorated home to show them the love of God and share the real meaning of the season. Invite a friend to the huge Christmas show that the downtown church is putting on, the one that starts with the "secular" Christmas traditions and ends with the Savior's birth.
Are you a "fanfare" sort of person at Christmas, or more into the quiet? Share below!