Christmas is a time for creativity. At least it is for me. Throughout my life, Christmas has been a time to create with my hands. I’ve created handmade ornaments to share; cards to express holiday wishes to my family, friends, and co-workers; as well as gift boxes and special party favors. When I have made the time, I’ve enjoyed creating handmade Christmas gifts for some of my family and friends. It’s an important part of the Christmas season for me, and even though I feel especially busy this year, I know my Christmas won’t feel quite right if I don’t take the time for creative expression.
The first Christmas was filled with examples of creativity. If you haven’t done so yet this year, read the stories in the Bible about the birth of Christ. Read about Mary and Joseph, the angels, the shepherds, and the wisemen. Our Savior, Jesus Christ, was definitely introduced to the world in a unique and creative manner.
First, of all, God chose an unlikely couple to be the parents of His Son. Mary was a young virgin, engaged, but not yet married to Joseph, a carpenter. They were not from wealthy, or royal families. They were ordinary people leading ordinary lives. But God picked them to raise His Son. That was certainly a creative choice.
Second, Jesus was not born in a palace, or even a fancy home—He was born in a simple stable. The baby Jesus did not spend His first night sleeping in an expensive and comfy cradle. No, the Savior of the world, spent his first night sleeping in a manger—a feeding trough for animals. When he arrived, Jesus wasn’t dressed up in a beautiful sleeping gown—he was wrapped in strips of ordinary cloth to keep Him warm. That was definitely a creative way for the Son of God to enter the world.
Third, God didn’t send messengers to the royalty, the wealthy, or the hierarchy of the Temple to announce Jesus’ birth. No, God chose some lowly shepherds, at work in the fields, to be the first people to hear the exciting news about the birth of His Son. And He sent a choir of angels to make the announcement. What a magnificent and creative way to announce that the Savior had come.
Fourth, the Magi (the Wise Men) were led to the young King when God placed a spectacular star in the sky to attract the attention of these studiers of the stars. These men believed that the rising of this special star in the Eastern sky signaled the birth of the Messiah, so they travelled far to find Him. What a creative way to lead these men to Jesus.
I hope you make room this Christmas for expressions of creativity. You don’t have to be a crafter to do so. You can express you creativity in so many other ways. You can be creative with the decorations you put out this year, by adding new ones, or arranging them differently than you have in the past. You might want to bake and decorate cookies with a group of children. You can give special thought to the gifts you give, choosing carefully for each recipient. If you don’t make cards, you can take extra care choosing just the right ones from the store. Maybe you can seal each envelope with a sticker.
Another place for creative expression, is in the preparation and presentation of your Christmas dinner. You can consider making pretty place cards for the table, folding the napkins in a special way, trying a new recipe, using special dishes, etc. Even if you aren’t the one preparing the dinner, give some thought to a creative way you can help make the celebration extra special.
This year might be a good year to add a new tradition, celebrate in a new location, or invite some new people to join your festivities. Maybe it’s the year you choose to serve those less fortunate than you, for the first time, or in a different way. I hope you will find a Christmas Eve or Christmas Sunday service to attend. Worship is a wonderful opportunity for celebration and creativity.
Whatever you do, I hope you will find a way to add some creative expression to your celebration this year.