I hope we haven’t put Jesus in a cardboard box and thrown him back in the attic already…

In him was life, and that life was the light of all humankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. – John 1:4-5

I sometimes think I’d like to start a national campaign to highlight and promote better understanding and more accuracy when it comes to Christmas. There is so much we get wrong!

One of my biggest pet peeves is the sudden premature cessation of celebration the moment the last gift is unwrapped. I have even seen trees out by the road – sad testimonies to missing the point – early in the day December 26! Look carefully and you may find an overlooked star, or an angel face-down in the street.

Today, December 29, is the 5th day of Christmas! In a sense we should just now be hitting our stride in terms of contemplating all the wonder held in the story, thinking about the implications of God’s radical breaking-in to time and space with such a gift!

In our house the 12 days of Christmas see a gradual drawdown in terms of decorations. But it is carefully weighted in a way that leaves the most important elements in place. Eventually, all that remains will be the nativity and the lights: the point of the story and the result of Christ’s birth.

Kidnapped Magi!

One memorable Christmas when our children were both preschoolers, they kidnapped Jesus and the wise men from the manger scene. The Magi – along with their camels – reappeared that evening a long way from the tree; they gradually made their way west, arriving just in time. Jesus showed up Christmas Eve too.

We want to be careful not to pack Jesus away in some cardboard box with the other decorations. We want to keep the light alive too.

This is not just symbolism, or decorating. This is about understanding what really happened two thousand years ago and should still be happening today.

This is about the fact that, as John put it, “In [Jesus] was life, and that life was the light of all humankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it… The true light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world” (John 1:4,5,9).

Merry “5th day of” Christmas, friends. May this light take up residence in us, and may we never take our eyes off of Jesus. – DEREK


  1. This is very good Derek. I myself have really been taking in the story of Jesus’ birth in a whole new way. Every January first and going for twenty-one days my husband and I do a fast; to give God our first fruits of the year and seek His wisdom and direction for our lives for that year. On Christmas eve I really felt compelled to begin fasting from social media except for my blogs, and various people like yourself that I am daily encouraged by. I can’t tell you the peace and joy I’m experiencing by choosing Christ first and really meditating on what it meant for Jesus to come to earth for me. Needless to say, even though this has been a hard year, I sense God drawing me closer to Him like never before. It truly is a wonderful thing.


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