“Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: The virgin will be with child and give birth to a son and will call Him Emmanuel.” (Isaiah 7:14)
“All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: ‘The virgin will be with child and they will give birth to a Son, and they will call Him Immanuel which means “God with us.”‘” (Matthew 1:22-23)
When the hazy, hot, humid, summer heat of the mid-west becomes overwhelming, (usually late July), I become house bound. It turns out that I cannot take the extreme heat and humidity of summer any more than I can manage the wet, cold of our ice and snow winters.
So when my kids were younger, and of necessity house bound with their mom more days than they wanted, we broke up the boredom with Christmas in July! What started out as a time of fun quickly became a meaningful tradition for our family. Without all of the commercial trappings of “the holidays” my children grew up learning about how “God so loved the world that He sent His only Son, Emmanuel God with us.”
We make a batch or two of Christmas cookies, set up our very small little tree on the shelf, close the curtains, and have Christmas in July!
We take a day when we will all be home together and take the whole day off. We watch favorite Christmas movies, and little shows we taped. I make a pizza or sloppy joes, and our Christmas in July gives us a chance to cool off and relax together!
At the end of the day we watch a wonderful DVD about the Bethlehem Star, and the miracles in the sky at the time of Christ birth. A web sight is set up to look at these things for free now at bethlehemstar.net
This may seem be a fun family tradition, and a reprieve from the heat, but at the same time it is good to remind ourselves that “Emmanuel God with us” isn’t just for Christmas in December. God is with us at our Christmas in July celebration. God is with us in our deepest pain, cold rainy days, and times we are lonely or afraid. God is with us always
“You hem us in behind and before; and you have laid Your hand upon me.” (Psalm 139:5)
Prayer: Father how can we thank you enough for this wonderful gift. Emmanuel isn’t just a Christmas song, or a poster, but an amazing truth for our lives. Sometimes I get so afraid, and I forget this. Emmanuel, Jesus, will be all I have to say. Thank you, Praise you! Amen.
About the author:
Sandra Platt Is the wife of a minister and the mother of two adult children. She has been writing for Rest Ministries for many years, and is so thankful for the many friendships she has made through Rest Ministries and the Sunroom. Sandy has many chronic pain illnesses, beginning with fibromyalgia 22 years ago. Sandy enjoys writing, reading, cross stitching, baking, and anything outdoors.
Christmas in July started out many years ago as a fun time for our bored little ones. Now it means a lot to our families. What traditions do you have that remind you of God’s love. Or can you think of some family traditions that you can start as a tool?
We can all celebrate Christmas in July (or August, as the case may be) by remembering some special things to pray about. Amy Grant’s song “Grown Up Christmas List” is a nice reminder of what the world really needs.