I was recently trying to write something about Christmas so that people who aren’t Christians would be able to understand what it’s truly all about. But it only made me realise that many Christians ourselves don’t really know what Christmas is either.

We offer up all the stereotypical answers like, “Christmas is all about thanksgiving”, or,“It’s about joy!”

But what do our Christmases really look like?

Sadly, in recent weeks I’ve heard about families who bicker over simple Christmas stuff like “where to hold the party” or “who’s bringing what”.

Where’s the generosity and gratitude?

There are countless families this Christmas who won’t be able to celebrate anything because of war or famine. Someone’s parents might have died in an air raid. Or drowned at sea as they fled their country in boats.

We have so much to be grateful for, and we are blessed to bless others. In any celebration, hearts of generosity and gratitude produce lasting joy.

So if Jesus were to show up at your party – and this really should be a starting guideline – what would He really find upon walking in?

Grumbling or grateful guests? Humble hosts or hedonistic indulgences? I don’t know.

It often feels like some of us obsess over planning a birthday party for our best friend to the point we actually forget to invite Him.

But I think a lot of us have missed the point: Christmas is about Jesus. It’s about sacrifice and thanksgiving – remembering what Christ did for us.

Which is why it’s so sad to see us being Marthas over Marys. Are we so caught up with making everything perfect – making sure everything’s super Christmassy – that we forget the Reason we’re celebrating in the first place?

Let’s put our pride down and humbly serve the Lord, putting together His event His way.

Because as I reflected on the nature of these Christmas events, I wonder if it’s as if some of us are planning a birthday party for a stranger. You need to know what the person likes and dislikes – what’s on the person’s heart and what he even wants.

Whatever it is you’re doing in December, just slow down and think with me for a second: What does God actually want out of our Christmas? More … stuff?

Or does He want something more like finding His child ready to sit and have a unhurried chat – quality time?

At least from what I’m seeing, it often feels like some of us obsess over planning a birthday party for our best friend to the point we actually forget to invite Him!

Each time we reach the turn of a new year, we have a tremendous opportunity to realign our vision to God’s – to recalibrate our lives for His glory and purposes.

How wonderful this season would be if our Christmas parties pointed our guests to Jesus. I know it’s going to be so refreshing, sitting by His feet in grateful celebration together.

Dear friend, there’s more than enough striving in the year. I hope you choose the better option this Christmas.

“Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her.” (Luke 10:41-42)