Learn more about our Christmas Vision Spotlight initiatives and how to contribute.
What Christmas Means to Me
This Christmas season at Woodside, we’d love for you and your family to be reminded of the sentiment of Christmas through the eyes of the next generation. We’ve asked one of our High School students, Grace Wegehaupt, to share with us what Christmas means to her. As you read, reflect on your own Christmas traditions and be reminded of the true meaning of this season.
The way Christmas looks has changed a lot for me over the past two years. Not only did a global pandemic change how my family and many others celebrated, but in 2019 my life and the way I celebrated Christmas changed unexpectedly.
When I was younger, Christmas felt truly magical. My parents would do whatever they could to ensure my siblings and I had great Christmas memories. Christmas mornings were always celebrated with my immediate family, and Christmas afternoons were with my cousins at my Nana’s. Then, a few days later, we’d continue celebrating at my Mimi’s. When my parents divorced in 2020, I had hoped not much would change about my Christmas traditions. I knew I’d have to go to two houses, but I was really relying on my other celebrations for a sense of normalcy. Unfortunately for myself and many others, 2020 was the year that changed how we celebrated that holiday season.
I now had two Christmases with my parents, and because of covid, I didn’t have a gathering with my cousins or grandparents. I had been so caught up in my family’s traditions changing that I hadn’t even thought about the REAL reason for the season.
I had always been taught that Christmas was the celebration of Jesus’s birth, but once I got older, I focused much more on my own desires and what I expected to get out of the holiday. I became so busy making lists of material things that I forgot that Jesus already gave himself as the greatest gift the world has ever known. And because He came and died for our sins, He gave us the gift of eternal life.
1 Timothy 2:3–6 which says, “God our Savior, who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all.”
Instead of focusing on how my Christmas has changed since my parents separated, I could focus on the fact that God gave me two parents to celebrate the holiday with. Even though their marriage didn’t last, I didn’t lose either of them — they were still a part of my life. Rather than dwelling on the fact that my holiday looked different because of covid, I focused on the fact that God not only put my grandparents in my life but kept them healthy throughout the pandemic. And most importantly, I recognized that Jesus giving us the gift of eternal life is far greater than any Christmas present I could receive.
This Christmas season, I hope that whatever challenges you may face don’t take away from the incredible gift God gave us through Jesus. Traditions come and go, but Jesus brings us eternal life if we put our faith and trust in Him.