Now it came to pass, as they went, that he entered into a certain village: and a certain woman named Martha received him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary, which also sat at Jesus’ feet, and heard his word. But Martha was cumbered about much serving, and came to him, and said, Lord, dost thou not care that my sister hath left me to serve alone? bid her therefore that she help me. And Jesus answered and said unto her, Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things: But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her. Luke 10:38–42

For far too many, Christmas is a burden and not a blessing. Think about the people involved in the first Christmas — Mary and Joseph, the shepherds, and the wise men. These people didn’t make special plans for the occasion. Mary and Joseph had taxes to pay, the shepherds were busy caring for their sheep, and the wise men had their own work to do. When Jesus came on the scene, the ordinary became something special. His presence made all the difference.

Instead of seeing Christmas as just another holiday or a day off work, let’s make it a day where Jesus becomes our honored Guest. He is the One who makes the occasion special. If we make Him the Object of our celebration, this could change the way we celebrate His visit. It could change our wish lists into thank-you lists. We might even invite more people over to celebrate His visit.

This may go against some of your favorite Christmas traditions, but think of all the disappointment and stress we would avoid if we changed the way we saw this day. Remember: Christmas comes but once a year. Make the Christmas Guest the center of your celebration.

Devotional by Dr. James A. Scudder