By Andrea Lennon

The Christmas season brings feelings of warmth, love, harmony, and yuletide cheer. Family dinners, late night shopping trips, parties with friends, festive decorations, and the smell of peppermint mixed with cedar trees leave many women engrossed in the traditions that provide a feeling of Christmas spirit.
I am sure you can relate with the feelings that go along with the season of Christmas. I will never forget one of my favorite memories with my oldest son, Jake. He was four years old as we danced in front of the Christmas tree to the sounds of Christmas music playing in the background. I cried as I thought about the sweet moment and how I never wanted to forget the warm feeling the moment provided.
For many women, feelings like these become the goal of the Christmas season. This goal is realized each time a sweet family memory is made or an on-going Christmas tradition is practiced. Without a doubt, these feelings of warmth, love, harmony, and yuletide cheer provide a sense of Christmas spirit as families and friends gather to celebrate each Christmas season.
Today, I would like to invite you to think about one other aspect of the Christmas spirit. In fact, this aspect represents the real Spirit of Christmas. The real Spirit of Christmas is tucked away in the familiar story of a small wooden manger, nestled in a quaint but busy town, surrounded by angels, Wise Men, and lowly shepherds. The mother, Mary, and the earthly father, Joseph, along with a host of animals complete the scene that God painted for the advent of the real Spirit of Christmas - Jesus.
He was the long awaited Messiah; and He is the real meaning of Christmas. The prophet Isaiah foretold of the coming of this King. "For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders, and he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace." (Isaiah 9:6, New International Version)
This month as you celebrate Christmas, remember the real Spirit of Christmas is not wrapped up in a feeling, but rather a truth. Jesus was born to fulfill a purpose. Jesus came to live a perfect life so that He could die for imperfect people. That's right. Jesus died to save men, women, and children from their sins so that they can spend eternity in heaven with God. Jesus made this plan a reality when He died on the cross.
Jesus is the real Spirit of Christmas. When you ask Jesus to come into your life and save you from your sins, you have the opportunity to live a life you never dreamed possible - a life that is free from earthly trappings, and a life that is not dependent upon experiences or traditions to provide a feeling of warmth, love, harmony, and yuletide cheer; rather, this is a life that is free to know Jesus and the peace that only He provides. It is a life that understands that "the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom." (2 Corinthians 3:17, New International Version)