Summary: Christmas is more than gifts.

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What Do You Do for Christmas?

What is Christmas – Part 1

Luke 2:8-20

I have entitled my sermon “What Do You Do for Christmas?”. This will be a question that every one of us will receive during this holiday season. You and I as Christians need to be prepared to answer this question. I submit to you that we can answer this question and help other learn the true meaning of Christmas – the fact that there is a God and He has sent His Son Jesus and that we need Jesus.

As we come closer to Christmas time, many people are making plans. They ask the question: “What will I do for Christmas?” Most people who ask this question answer it with a couple of answers like this:

I am going to go home to see my parents.

We are going to have Christmas dinner with some friends.

My husband is getting off work and so we plan to spend Christmas together.

My children are in town and so we will get together.

Answers usually don’t get much deeper than this. People have the expectation that at Christmas, what we do is spend time with family and friends. We celebrate what we think is Christmas by giving gifts to one another. You may hear it said this way:

I can’t wait to see what Santa will give me under the tree this year.

I wonder what gifts I will get from my husband or wife.

I wonder how we are going to pay for the gifts that we just bought for everyone.

Is this Christmas? Is this what is expected out of what we call the holiday season. This is interesting because the word holiday is an Old English word that means holy day. So our language defines what Christmas is, but we have changed the meaning. What should you and I be doing for Christmas? Is it more than just giving gifts (or expecting gifts?) Is it more than spending time and money going places so that we can say that we visited important people? Is this Christmas?

I don’t think so. As a matter of fact, while I think it is good to visit family and friends and give and receive gifts, I believe Christmas is much more. We are acting in the imitation of the substance of Christmas. Here is a bottle of Dr. Pepper. This is a drink from Texas. This is the real thing.

I mean the real thing because it is the original non-fruit flavored soft drink. Soft drinks were called soft because they did not contain alcohol. You may have thought that Coca-Cola was the first. No, it was invented in 1886 in Atlanta, Georgia. Dr. Pepper was invented in 1885 in Waco, Texas at the Morrison’s Old Corner Drug Store. Here is a brief history:

Most agree that either Robert Lazenby, a chemist, Charles Alderton, a young pharmacist and Wade Morrison, the pharmacy owner, created the drink. Charles Alderton, a young pharmacist educated in England, worked at Wade Morrison’s store, where he also served carbonated soft drinks at the soda fountain. He had noted that customers soon tired of drinking the same old fruit flavors. The inventive Alderton decided to make something new by blending several fruit-based flavors. After numerous experiments, he finally created one he liked. He named the drink Dr. Pepper. The name allegedly comes from Confederate Army doctor Charles Pepper, a Virginia doctor who gave Wade Morrison his first job. Dr. Pepper was also the same man who refused to permit Morrison to marry his daughter, Miss Pepper.

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