A Bit of Christmas Perspective

Sharon Jaynes Christmas Inspiration 79 Comments

With Christmas just around the corner, it’s easy to get so busy with the cooking, decorating and shopping that we forget why we’re doing all this in the first place. Sometimes, the very people we love get lost in the hustle and bustle of packed schedules, holiday parties, and Christmas musicals.

Several years ago I wrote a Christmas version of 1 Corinthians 13 to help me keep my focus on what Paul deemed “the greatest of these”…love. As part of our family tradition, I pull out the poem and post it somewhere in our home as a reminder of what’s really important during the holiday season. And since you are now part of the family, I’m pulling it out for you.

1 Corinthians 13 Christmas Style

©By Sharon Jaynes

If I decorate my house perfectly with lovely plaid bows, strands of twinkling lights, and shiny glass balls, but do not show love to my family, I’m just another decorator.

If I slave away in the kitchen, baking dozens of Christmas cookies, preparing gourmet meals, and arranging a beautifully adorned table at mealtime, but do not show love to my family, I’m just another cook.

If I work at the soup kitchen, carol in the nursing home, and give all that I have to charity, but do not show love to my family, it profits me nothing.

If I trim the spruce with shimmering angels and crocheted snowflakes, attend a myriad of holiday parties, and sing in the choir’s cantata but do not focus on Christ, I have missed the point.

Love stops the cooking to hug the child.

Love sets aside the decorating to kiss the husband.

Love is kind, though harried and tired.

Love doesn’t envy another home that has coordinated Christmas china and table linens.

Love doesn’t yell at the kids to get out of your way.

Love doesn’t give only to those who are able to give in return, but rejoices in giving to those who can’t.

Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, and endures all things.

Love never fails. Video games will break, pearl necklaces will be lost, golf clubs will rust.

But giving the gift of love will endure.

Leave a comment and share one of your favorite Christmas traditions. I’ll randomly pick one entry and send a free copy of my book, Celebrating a Christ Centered Christmas. 

Comments 79

  1. Thank you for this Sharon, this time of year is always hurried and stressful and I agree it is easy to lose sight of the “Reason for the Season”, our Lord Jesus. I will print this out and make it a part of our family tradition too. My favourite Christmas tradition, firstly with my children and now with my grandchildren is to get them to help me decorate the Christmas tree. When it’s finished it is not a tree fit for a shopping mall, but it is special to us because we have spent time together having fun, making memories.

  2. Thank you, thank you, thank you! That was exactly what I needed to hear to see how I have been starting this season and to be able to put on the brakes and redirect myself. Christ and His Love are what it’s all about and although I have been trying to put it into words, how I have been feeling, I have failed. But you have done it for me. I will be posting this in my home and office and printing it on pretty paper for several other family members. Thank you again! May you have a Christmas season FULL of Christ and Love!

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  3. One of my newest favorite traditions is placin Christmas Crackers on our plate setting in between dinner and dessert. It’s a visually excited difference to the norm and it’s hilariously fun!

  4. I always look forward to the Christmas Eve candlelight service at our church. After the service ends, everyone leaves very quietly. Those who want to may stay and sit in that silent, candlelit sanctuary for a few minutes. It is a very special time for me each year to sit and listen to God’s voice in the blessed silence. Then, as I emerge into the bustling, noisy church lobby, I am ready to be a part of the JOY of the Christmas season. Merry Christmas to you!!

  5. I just lost my boyfriend with cancer if people would show more love Jesus is my strength that was a real nice poem people leave out Christ at Christmas people need to put Christ back in Christmas God bless

  6. Love this Christmas version of the “love” chapter. I also cherish traditions. My dad always made the children, grands and greatgrands sit cross-legged around him on the floor as he read the Christmas story found in Luke 2. He’s long gone, but those memories and pictures of those children around him year after year as they grew still make my heart happy.

  7. I like the poem about 1 Corinthians 13 Christmas Style. With out the love of God we have nothing .I pray that I show the love of God to my family and others daily.

  8. A beautiful & inspiring poem Sharon. For many years now in our family we would gather & sing the 12 Day’s of Christmas using our birthday month to correspond with which day we sing. With over 35 in our extended family we were able to cover all 12 days. It’s always such fun with lots of laughs & actions. The kids looked forward to it every year. My only disappointment was it took many years for someone else to be old enough to sing with me on the First Day of Christmas! Until then it was a squeaky solo.

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  9. I love your poem. I believe we all have those moments when we forget the reason for the season. I wish Christmas and the other holidays weren’t so commercialized. Thank you for your commitment to God and his teachings.

    Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you and your family.

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  10. LOVE IT…….
    WISHED I HAD IT TO PUT ON MY FRIDGE WHEN RAISING MY FAMILY.
    I AM A 70 YEAR OLD WIDOW WHO JUST PASSED IT ON TO HER THREE DAUGHTERS…I WILL SHARE WITH MY FRIENDS AS WELL…..GOD BLESS YOU AND YOURS…….THANK YOU FOR THE THOUGHTS

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  11. Every year we have a candy cane hunt. I hide candy canes all around the house and the kids go crazy racing around to find them. If they find the special candy cane they get a special prize! Even now my 20 something kids love it!

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  12. Due to caring for my aging body and that of my husband’s plus my Dad’s need of my time and attention even though he’s in a nursing home AND meeting needs of my out of state children and grandchildren I found myself with an extra long period between Thanksgiving and Christmas to prepare for Christmas whittled down to 3 days to do 3 weeks work–before family and friends (rich with hired help and beautiful accuturements) start arriving. I’m beside myself, I prayed for stretched time and energy to get done what really needed to be done and be content leaving the rest undone. I prayed too that friends and family coming to my house would find a warm, inviting atmosphere that said I had cared to prepare for their visits. I opened e-mail then and found yours with your Christmas 1 Corinthians 13. Was that exactly what I needed to read! I’m on my way to do what I can and love along the way for the next 3 days and a week.

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  13. Thank you, Sharon! This is beautiful and this year has been great because my head and heart have been with God. Meaning what are His expectations of me and how I handle the Christmas preparation. Merry Christmas 🎄

  14. I love when we pile in the car and drive around looking at all the Christmas lights in town. It gives a chance to connect again during all the holiday bustle of school plays, sport banquets, scouting parties and service projects. We sing carols and talk about goals for the next year. I love having my kids all to myself with no electronics!

  15. Thank you for sharing this awesome reminder. I love love love your poem We received snow a few days ago here on Alabama and the world became quiet for a day. The world slowed down and I enjoyed more of the day than normal. It was an amazing Christmas gift from the Father as we begin the Christmas season.

  16. I LOVE THE1CORINTHIANS 13 REWRITE!! It so captures the true spirit of the season. We can’t forget why we do what we do! If we miss sharing Christ’s love with those we love most, we have missed the grandest opportunity of all! One of my most favorite traditions & memories is having my mom’s homemade banana punch on Christmas morning! It’s so much yummier than it sounds & I don’t even like bananas! It’s different than most others’ traditions! She lost her battle to cancer last year at Thanksgiving so I’m now the one making the punch for the family! Makes it even more special to me!

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  17. Years ago, when my oldest was about 2, my husband and I started having picnics on Christmas eve night. We would usually be in the floor putting toys together, wrapping gifts and filling stockings etc. We picked up special snack foods for that night while we were out. The picnic was our time together and made it special. We would also exchange our gifts to each other. We have kept this tradition now for 26 years.

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  18. THANK YOU for sharing the,poem. My Mom passed from this,earth in April & this,is,a hard time for me, your poem brought back wonderful memories,of all the,love we shared for so many years,esoecially at Christmas time. As my Granddaughter asked me to help her put the Christmas,tree up that I had,bought for my Mom back in 1970, I renembered the tradition we,had,of putting that particular tree up every year the day after Thanksgiving & it remaining up until after New Years..It was a fun time the whole,family looked forward to, lots of laughter & love in our house. May Christ always remain the reason for the celebration every day of our lives. God Bless & MERRY CHRISTMAS

  19. We have 8 grandchildren they range from 4 to 16 and still sit and listen as aunt Stacy reads green eggs and ham while nana cooks green eggs and ham for breakfast.

  20. Wow! Beautifully rewritten poem – thank you for sharing it…it’s printed for my daily reminder as I walk through these last 12 days leading to Christmas.

  21. I love this so!
    It’s exactly what I needed and I will definitely print it and post it as well in my home.
    Thank you, Sharon!
    Excellent as always!

  22. My favorite tradition is making Christmas stockings for each new family member just as my mother did. They are simple stockings made from felt, sequins & beads with a name stitched in thread. The new member or parent of the new member (baby) select which designs are attached, and I decorate. The uniqueness of each stocking reflects the uniqueness of each family member, and my love is expressed in each stitch.

  23. A special Christmas memory: At the age of 9, my mom and I went to my grandma’s house. Dad was a farmer and was coming down later. We celebrated Christmas all together and when I got home, there on my bed was a brand new lavender comforter! My dad had made my bed with new linens and a new comforter!! I saw a glimpse of the Father that night. At 9 years old, God showed me HIS heart for HIS children. A silly memory? Not really. Our Daddy in heaven cares about each and every detail in our lives….even lavender comforters!

  24. We always put our tree up on December 4, my late husband’s birthday. He died when my kids were small, and it’s a way to keep him in our celebration.

  25. Yur Christmas poem was right on true. Love never fails . Money don’t buy love. My tradition is to go out of the box an doing something nice for someone yu know or don’t know they’ll appreciate it!!

  26. I loved your version of the Christmas 1 Corinthians 13. It was so beautifully written and contained so much truth. I printed it out to read to our women’s Sunday School class. It was awesome. Thank you for sharing it. I always enjoy reading your posts because it seems like most days there is something in it that hits me right where I need it the most. Thank you for all that you do for women in encouraging them, uplifting them in prayer and for loving us. God bless.

  27. My mom used to get the tree ends that they would cut off the tree and put it in boiling water. It made the whole house smell incredible. Just make sure that the water doesn’t all evaporate. 😉

  28. I absolutely love this. I am going to print it off and put it in a frame to share with my entire family……..It is such a perfect message for all of us, not only at Christmas but through out the entire year.

  29. WOW it spoke right to my heart thank you. We do a “singspiration ” at our church the Sunday before Christmas and I am going to read this that night. It spoke to me thank you again.

  30. amen, sharon.Thank you for that, i grieve some this christmas, cause we have forgotten the true meaning of the holidays, with so much brokenness, and bitterness in the world. To most people it’s just another day off of work. We have forgotten. It’s about jesus and spending time with family, gifts, dinner. Happiness. It should be, why isn’t it like that no more.

  31. Thank you for the encouragement to keep Christ in Christmas!
    A favorite tradition is candlelight service and cinnamon buns in morning!

  32. Even though I have read and printed this before, it is always a good idea to have a gentle reminder about what Christmas is really all about. I agree with Betty’s comment, and I have noticed, that, when I read your devotional, and it’s one I have read before, it is always (as Margaret Feinberg says) a “God echo.” Something I needed to hear again, like today’s devotional. Thank you, Sharon. We go to see the Tuba Christmas concert at All Saints’ Church in Wolfeboro, NH or it is in Freeport, Maine every year.
    This year our pastor is having a Christmas dinner at the rectory for anyone who is alone. Since my husband is a good cook, he has volunteered to bring a meal. We are not sure if we will see our daughter and her boyfriend this year, but we have each other and this may be a new tradition! Christmas blessings to you and your family, Sharon!

  33. One of our favorite traditions is to help out somebody who is less fortunate and make their Christmas extra special. This year we are helping a local hospice get Christmas presents for their 45 clients. Many of them have no family and do not even receive cards or presents. Most likely this will be their last Christmas, so we want them to feel remembered and loved. Blessings to you!

  34. I’ve lost two sisters, both my parents, 3 grandchildren who never made it to this world, the last was 5 months along when he went back to heaven and my daughter had to deal with his loss, the DNC, and finally a hysterectomy all within one week. I only want my daughter to be happy again and healthy; my remaining siblings the same. My hubby also. One other thing, for all the remember and believe in the reason we celebrate CHRISTmas. God bless you all.

  35. This reading was such a blessing, a reminder that all of our actions should demonstrate love. Thank you for sharing. I passed it on to the ladies in my prayer group, and they loved it as well.
    In our house, after we decorate the Christmas tree, I leave an empty rough wooden manger in front of the tree. On Christmas morning, a baby doll that is swaddled in a plain blanket lies in the manger in front of the gifts, reminding us of the first and most important Christmas gifts.

  36. One of my most favorite Christmas traditions is my husband reading the story of Christmas from the Scriptures. He would pick different passages and as our kids got older, I think they took turns reading, but a lot of people told our kids that we were crazy. Both of our children knew that nothing could be touched, played with or eaten until the story was read from the Bible. Some of their friends thought we were mean. I wonder if I could ask each of my now grown children just what that time meant to them; I wonder what they would say!? For me, it was the most precious time of the whole day!

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  37. Struggling with a decision regarding a family member that has left me with deep wounds of betrayal.
    I have been praying for two days for God to show me what to do. While waiting for my nail appt. I began reading your article on my iPad, and there was my answer. 1st Cor. 13.
    Thank you,
    MPG

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  38. dear Sharon,
    thank you so much for this rewrite of 1 Corinthians 13, but also for all the books, articles and devotions you wrote over the years. I am learning so much from you, thank you for being an example in this dark world. may the Lord bless you and your family for the coming year. love from nz.

  39. I have two traditions. One is playing the DVD of The Christmas Carol. It never ceases to amaze me as Scrooge’s eyes are opened and he sees and feels the emotion of kindness and sympathy, thereby learning the true meaning of Christmas. And second, a movie called Santa Clause the movie. He encounters a boy who learns to believe. These are very special.

  40. A beautiful poem,
    My family tradition is to reflect back over the years of Christmas past. Whether they be fond or sad memories they are all precious I’m my mind. My children were young when their grandparents passed so pictures, stories and gifts that I have saved and treasured like old story books resurface tattered and worn are brought out to remind them of the love we had as a family and still do. I have a small tree for my 8 Grandchildren to decorate with decorations of Christmas past ornaments. We all love the lord and we all know the real meaning of Christmas is the birth of our Lord And Savior Jesus Christ. What a beautiful feeling to know we are all in his presence everyday, not just at Christmas!

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  41. I love the creativity and truth placed into your rewritten Christmas version of 1 Corinthians 13. One tradition that we “borrowed” part of from a fellow military family is reading the poem,”Mary’s Dream,” followed by the singing of “Happy Birthday” to Jesus. We then partake of birthday cake and ice cream as we celebrate the Savior’s birth. The poem helps us cherish Jesus, the reason for the season.

  42. Thanks for the reminder to keep my focus on Jesus the reason we celebrate Christmas. I enjoy making goodies for my neighbors & taking it to them on Christmas Eve.

  43. Thank you Sharon…. I so love the poem you shared! What a beautiful reminder of the most important message of Christmas….the LOVE! I would love to win your book…I have many of your books and am always inspired by your words of encouragement.
    Tammy

  44. I love 1 Corinthians 13 and this is a beautiful adaption and reminder of the true meaning of Christmas! I would appreciate a copy of your book.

  45. Sharon, I read this and knew I had to share it with my coworkers at our Christian school. It has blessed all of us and God is using it to really speak to our hearts and remember it’s about showing love.
    Thank you for writing and sharing this. It will be a annual decoration in my home.

  46. I love, love, love your poem. Knowing what the Bible says in 1 Corinthians makes it even more precious. Thanks for sharing!

  47. Bless You for sharing your version of 1 Corinthians 13, it gave me a look in the mirror. We may sit on dirty rugs to play games and eat bologna sandwiches with Oreo cookies and milk, but I will be loving Jesus and my family with all that I am. Again thank you, Merry Christmas to you and yours.

  48. I love this Christmas interpretation of I Corinthians 13! It is really so very true, and timely, thank you so much for sharing this with all of us, and I pray that you and your family have a very blessed Christmas, filled with lots of love and laughter!

  49. I came across a copy your Christmas version of 1 Corinthians 13 that someone had posted on FB. It ministered so much to me that I did an online search to find who wrote it (author was not given). I should find the post again and post your name. I dislike sharing without giving credit. May I share?

  50. Thank you for sharing this, what Love really is all about and how important family is. As I sit here this Christmas Eve morning and I reflect on how important 1 Corinthians 13 is, I love your rendition of it. This is one Book and Chapter that I go to on a regular basis when my heart needs to be reminded of what is truly important. I replace the word Love with my name and then I read it and it reminds me that all the things of the world do no matter. What matters is the state of my heart and how I treat and love others.

    Blessings to you and your family this Joyous Christmas Season!

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