“And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. And awe came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were being done through the apostles. And all who believed were together and had all things in common. And they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need. And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved.”Acts 2:42-47
Everyone seems to have a different definition of “family.” To some, biological family is where it’s at. To those with no blood relatives or who are not in fellowship with their biological family, their closest circle of friends has become their family. However you define your family, there is no denying that love pours over those closest to you. Love defines family more than biology.
When it comes to celebrating Christmas, there is nothing better than surrounding yourself with those you love—to open gifts, eat a special meal, celebrate traditions, and remember the birth of Christ Jesus, without whom none of this would be possible. The older I get the more I realize that the location is less important than having everyone together. Truly home is where your heart is. Wherever we choose to celebrate Christmas, I want to celebrate Jesus with my family. One of my favorite Christmas songs is “I’ll Be Home for Christmas.” But you can’t define home with an address. Home is wherever you find the love of family.
Yes, I realize that we deeply miss those who have gone on before us. Yes, it is always best to be around grandma’s table with some of our favorite dishes and desserts. Yes, presents are nice. But as long as I can be with people I love—my family—I’ll be okay. That’s enough for me.
Recently, my little seven year old cousin, Billy, asked me if I was rich. I think he was asking if I had a lot of money, but that’s not the answer I gave. You see, Billy and I come from a very large extended family. My dad is the last living child of that generation of 19 blended family siblings, so we actually have hundreds of cousins spanning multiple generations. I looked Billy in the eye and said, “You know what? We are very rich. You know why? Because we have a very large family who loves us very much and Jesus is our Savior. Yes, we are rich!” He wasn’t sure what to do with that answer, but I wanted Billy to understand that when we have the love of family and Jesus as our Savior, we will be just fine. Yes, Billy, we are rich!
Christmas is one more opportunity to share that truth with the young and the old. Home is where the heart is. And my heart is at home with my family—those whom I love and cherish deeply. God has blessed me with each of these relationships, and I treasure each one as a special gift. There’s no better way to celebrate Jesus’ birthday than with my family.