I love the Christmas story. It’s so beautifully poetic. We always read the Christmas story from Luke 2 to our kids on Christmas Eve. It’s part of our Christmas tradition. We eat homemade pizzas while we read. We love to drive around after dinner and see all the Christmas lights in our neighborhood, too. There’s a place nearby that somehow creates a light show set to music that you can hear on the FM dial in the car. No idea how that technology happens! We open presents from each other, then head to bed awaiting Santa (AKA, I’m up most of the night). It really is the most wonderful time of the year.
But while it’s full of wonder, twinkling lights, presents, and homemade pizza (at least in our house!), the story has lost a lot of its inherent messiness and dirt today. When we think of the sites, sounds, and smells of Christmas, twinkling lights, holiday tunes, and pine tree scents come to mind. But the sites, sounds, and smells we associate to Christmas today couldn’t be further from the first century Christmas experience.
Think about how the first Christmas came to be: