Finding the meaning of Christmas – Sharon’s story
Sharon loved celebrating Christmas as a child, enjoying the festive traditions and time with family. As she grew older, she found a new meaning in Christmas through the Christian faith. She shares her story:
Hello, my name is Sharon, I’m a physiotherapist and I manage the musculoskeletal service in Barnsley. I love my work and the fantastic team I work with. I have lived in Huddersfield most of my life, moving away when I married in 1982 and returning in 1990 when my husband left the forces.
When I was growing up I loved Christmas, we always celebrated at home. Fairy lights around the window, the light up angel and Father Christmas on the windowsill! Grandad bought the turkey, and mum and grandma would be in the kitchen most of the morning cooking. We would all sit down together in the afternoon, play games, and watch the Christmas specials on TV.
Then there were the presents. As a child I remember me and my siblings having a pillowcase each full of presents. We would sneak downstairs in the early hours of the morning to see “if he had been!” – he always had of course. It was a magical time, but when I look back the real meaning of Christmas the true magic was missing.
When I was in my early thirties, I was invited to a Christian baptism church service and it made me think about my own standing with God. Did I have a relationship with him? I realised that I didn’t but that it was something that I wanted for myself and my family. That was the start of my journey through the Christian faith.
That first Christmas as a believer was really magical, everything suddenly made sense. Christmas was about celebrating the birth of The Lord Jesus Christ, who was born in a stable in Bethlehem. Another name for Jesus is “Immanuel” which means “God with us”. As a Christian for me the greatest present of all is knowing Jesus as my saviour, that he came to bring joy and peace to those who believe on him. The words of the carols I had sung all my life took on a new meaning.
Hark! the herald angels sing,
“Glory to the new born King;
Peace on earth, and mercy mild,
God and sinners reconciled!”
Christmas now is still about family, presents, and special food but the focus of it is celebrating the birth of Jesus. Christmas Day usually starts with crumpets – don’t ask me why, but it happens every year. We go to church Christmas Day morning to worship with our church family, then home for presents, mulled wine and food. This year we are celebrating Christmas in Vancouver with our daughter and son-in-law. I’m sure there will be lots of food, presents and even snow but the greatest present will always be with me for eternity.
“Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift!”