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There is something magical about Christmas. Listening to Christmas music, looking at brightly lit Christmas trees and town centres and spending time with family and friends. Seeing the joy, particularly on the faces of children when they open the present you have carefully chosen for them. Yes, magical indeed, a time of great joy, but the greatest joy for me is the knowledge that God loved me so much that he sent his son into the world to save me. The gift of that baby born in Bethlehem is the most wonderful gift of all; any other gift that I receive pales into insignificance. I have a lapel badge that reads, Jesus is the reason for the season. That says it all for me – there can be no Christmas without Christ at its heart.
For a few years I was unable to attend Church on either Christmas Eve or Christmas morning because of where I was staying at the time. I missed being able to do that; my Christmas felt incomplete. Christmas without Christ at the centre of it didn’t feel like Christmas. Although I enjoyed all the trappings of Christmas, I realised that it was celebrating the birth of Christ that was important to me. Keeping him at the centre of my Christmas celebrations was, and is, what makes Christmas for me.