Treasures of Christmas

Sharon JaynesChristmas Inspiration, Forgiveness 59 Comments

Every year, I search for Christmas poems, stories, and traditions that stir my soul and keep my focus on Jesus. Perhaps none has tugged on my heartstrings like the treasure I am sharing with you today. It is a letter that could have been written by Mary. Join me now and let’s peek over Joseph’s shoulder as he reads this letter from his beloved.

I had a dream Joseph. And I don’t understand it not really. But think it was about a birthday celebration for our Son. Well I think that’s what it was about. People had been preparing for about six weeks. They had decorated their house, bought new clothes, gone shopping many times, and bought elaborate gifts. But it was peculiar though because you see, the gifts weren’t for our Son. They wrapped them in beautiful paper and tied them with lovely bows and stacked them under a tree. Yes! A tree, Joseph, right in their house. They decorated a tree.

The branches were full of glowing balls and sparkling ornaments. And there was a figure on top of the tree that looked something like what an angel might look like. Oh, it was so beautiful. Everyone was laughing and happy and all excited about the gifts. They gave gifts to each other, Joseph, not to our Son. I don’t even think they knew Him. They never mentioned His name. Doesn’t it seem odd for people to go to all that trouble to celebrate somebody’s birthday when they don’t even know Him. I had the strangest feeling that if our Son had gone to this celebration, He would have been intruding.

Everything was beautiful, Joseph. Everyone was full of cheer. But it made me want to cry. How sad for Jesus, not to be wanted at His own birthday celebration. I’m glad that it was only a dream. What if it would have been true?

What if it had been true? This story pierced my heart because in my home growing up, it was true. My childhood was a cauldron of violent arguments, alcohol inflamed fights, and long passages of passive aggressive silence. My parents were a mess, and their children were even messier.

Amazingly, the tensions ratcheted up a notch at Christmas. Dad’s business associates gave him liquor in ornate bottles—alcohol that fueled his volatile anger. My mom went into a stressful frenzy to have a perfectly decorated home with mounds of gifts under the tree. I dreaded December…every year.

On Christmas morning, I tore into elegantly wrapped presents. Right now, I can’t even recall what five of them were.

What I really wanted was a little bit of that “Peace on Earth” we sang about in church. I longed for Emmanuel to bring some of that “Silent Night” into my chaotic life. I longed for a mommy and daddy who loved each other. What I didn’t care about was more stuff.

Think about Mary’s words in Luke 2:19. “But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.” What do you think she treasured? Gabriel’s visit? Her cousin Elizabeth’s proclamation? The shepherds appearing in the middle of the night? The wisemen coming from a faraway place? Anna and Simeon recognizing baby Jesus as the Messiah? I think she remembered them all. And notice, not one of those things were wrapped in shiny paper with a big bow on top.

One day I had a child of my own. I held that squirmy bundle of love in my arms and made a commitment to keep Jesus the center of our home. That decision included keeping Christmas from becoming a stress-filled retail event, and making sure it was a love-filled Christ-centered celebration.

This year let’s make sure to invite the honored Guest to His birthday celebration. Set Him a place at the table. Read about His birth on Christmas morning. Wrap Him a gift and place it under the tree. (In our home we write what we’re giving Jesus on slips of paper, wrap it up in a little box, and place it by the nativity. It could be a commitment to pray more, love better, forgive quicker.)

Then in the years to come, we will have many memories to ponder and treasure in our heart.

Precious Jesus, forgive me for getting caught up in the hustle and bustle of the holiday season and forgetting why I’m doing this in the first place. Help me to rein in the retail frenzy and keep You the focus of the holiday season. I can’t wait to honor You in my home this Christmas Day. In Your Name I pray, Amen.

What are three ways that you keep Jesus the focus of the holiday season? Leave a comment and share!

Here are three of mine.

  • At dinnertime, we pray for the people who send us Christmas Cards.
  • I have a collection of nativity sets from around the world and place them in various rooms around the house.
  • We read Luke 2 and pray on Christmas morning before we open any gifts.




Click here to download a FREE printable version of Sharon’s popular Corinthians 13 Christmas Style.

© 2023 by Sharon Jaynes. All rights reserved.

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Comments 59

    1. I look forward to the day of seeing my loved ones in heaven Being with the king of Kings. Having no more pain, sickness, heartache, crying. We will be rejoicing and be made new.
      How wonderful that glorious day will be.

  1. I light the advent candles and read scripture every Sunday evening leading up to Christmas. By reducing the number of people I buy gifts for it has eliminated a lot of stress. I enjoy everything about the holiday more and it’s so much more peaceful.

  2. “Heavenly FATHER,
    Will YOU remind us that CHRISTmas is not about the glitter but YOUR GLORY, not the parties but the PERSON of SAVIOR JESUS, not the presents but YOUR POWERFUL PRESENCE.
    It is in CHRIST JESUS’ NAME, that we ask! “

  3. “Heavenly FATHER,
    Will YOU remind us that CHRISTmas is not about the glitter but YOUR GLORY, not the parties but the PERSON of SAVIOR JESUS, not the presents but YOUR POWERFUL PRESENCE.
    It is in CHRIST JESUS’ NAME, that we ask! ”

    CHRISTMAS IS A STRESSFUL TIME. We are stressed because we are reminded of strained relationships and festering wounds. Now what if we fix what needs fixing? What if we use Christmas as an occasion to mend relationships with friends and relatives? What if we decide to let go of what we have kept inside us for years?

  4. The focus of my decorating is the Nativity.
    I don’t overspend, choosing to make homemade gifts of love.
    Sing and play Christmas carols daily and countdown with an advent devotional

  5. I’m staying committed to my devotionals and quiet time with Jesus despite the busyness.

    I’m speaking about the glorious birth of Jesus Christ, my Lord and Savior, in my public communications with people.

    I’ll be reading the Luke 2 account of the birth of Jesus on Christmas Eve and having a prayer breakfast Christmas morning for all my loved ones (family and friends).

  6. I am always inspired or my heart is spoken into by Sharon’s devotions! I look forward to every word she shares! Her devotions are always from God and speak right what I need to hear, when I need to hear it! POWERFUL! Thank you, God, for reminding me of what really matters through Sharon! Whatever she has suffered in the past, whatever she has been through, whatever she may be experiencing now You & Your precious Holy Spirit use to encourage me and touch my soul today.

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  7. We attend a church candlelight service on Christmas Eve.
    We read Luke 2 before any presents are opened.
    My husband prays over our family and thanks Jesus for giving us new life.

    1. My childhood was just like your’s. My sister an I always went to church. We rode on the church bus.I am so glad I have Jesus in my life. I don’t know what I would do without Him. I loved your message. Thank you. Merry Christmas 🥰

  8. Good morning. My name is Niles Dixon, a pastor of a small church in rural south Georgia. I would like to respectfully ask permission to read the portion of this devotion regardung Marys letter to Joseph during our morning service. I’ve been waiting for God’s inspiration for that sermon and I think I have found it. I will of course give credit to your website. This devotion today has really touched me. My wife introduced me to your Girlfriends in God which has inspired several Wed night service messages. I know your devotions are geared toward women, but they have much food for us guys too. Thank you

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      Yes, we had a lot of men read the devotions. We called them our guy friends in God! Truth is truth! And yes, you most certainly have permission to read Mary’s letter to your congregation. Merry Christmas!

  9. Thank you Sharon for this beautiful devotional. Yes we all can get caught up in the earthly hustle and bustle of Christmas and forget the real reason for the season. When my children were growing up, I would make a birthday cake for baby Jesus and during our dinner time we would sing Happy Birthday to Jesus and then serve the cake. I cherish those times, and they did as well.
    Merry Christmas and a Blessed New Year to all.

    Debbie L

  10. 1. I pray for each person while I am wrapping their gifts.
    2. I have Nativity sets in multiple places in my home.
    3 My husband leads our family in prayer on Christmas morning before any gifts are opened.

  11. Sharon, thank you for sharing your “Christmas style”. Your devotionals always bless my heart. Praying God continues to bless you as you share His word with so many wonderful women! Merry CHRISTmas!

  12. Thank you for sharing this story.. we often get caught up in the frenzy of gifts, decorations etc. This year I received one of the best gifts that touched my heart from my newly wed young granddaughter and grandson-in -law.. a beautiful card and when I read what they had written, I could feel the tears welling up.. in honor of my big birthday they had donated money to missions their church supports.. that spreads the news and love of Jesus all around the world! Blessed my heart to know that others would receive the good news of Jesus and His birth that brings hope and salvation❤️

  13. You childhood Christmas and family could have been my own. Thank you for this beautiful story, a poignant reminder to always say, “Happy Birthday, Jesus!” on December 25. I will run this off to share with my own family.

  14. I am thankful for this. I realize that even thought I think I’m focusing on Christ, I’m not. I’m praying the Lord leads me in changing this.

  15. Absolutely beautiful! That’s what is wrong with our world, America and our society. We have left Jesus out! Thank you for this beautiful reminder! Merry Christmas!

  16. Thanks for this powerful reminder of the way we should approach the Christmas season. I especially like the idea of placing our “gifts” beside the nativity.

    1. I pray night and day for many people in my life. Much depression. Without Christ I would be nothing. I know I’m Loved and share with friends and family. Christ is our Best friend. Believe and take refuge in Gods Love 🙏🙏💖💕

  17. Beautiful and so true. Most definitely made me open my eyes and heart to know Jesus is the reason for the season
    God bless and a Merry Christmas and a blessed new year

  18. Thank you very for this thought provoking and realistic reflection of what truly drives our attitudes and motivations at Christmas. It was a heart wrenching look in the mirror that got my wife and I thinking about how we can celebrate and showcase the true reason for the season- our Lord Jesus.

    I pray for all people out there who struggle with the focusing their attention on everything else but the reason for the season, that they would be drawn by the Holy Spirit to investigate and explore the story of God’s love for mankind that was expressed through the birth, ministry, death, resurrection of Jesus Christ and the peace, comfort, strength, hope and victory that comes with having a relationship with the One and Only True God.

  19. Another lovely devotional! And how do we try to keep Christ in Christmas?
    —sending out Christmas cards with a Scripture message enclosed- verses of encouragement & hope
    —inviting folks who don’t know the Saviour into our home ; often these are refugees or new immigrants
    — going out as a family to sing carols door to door in our neighbourhood

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  20. This year more than ever, I wish I had been brought up in a home that went to church every Sunday and prayed everyday. In my adult life my husband and I went to church, we never got into the habit of praying together or saying the blessing together. I regret that, he is gone now, Jesus called him home last year.
    Christmas was always about gifts and not celebrating the birth of Jesus. My kids and I can testify the most memorable Christmas we ever had was the year my husband was sick and we were not able to buy gifts and the church made sure the kids and my husband and I had gifts but the best gift of all was the fellowship with a church family and the man of the house reading the birth of our Savior from the Bible. Afterwards we all held hands and told what we were thankful for. As time went by we lost site of what we should have had our eyes on in church but we had our eyes on the people and became so confused with the wrong we saw and stopped going to church. From there we never looked for a permanent church home again. I
    Thank you for letting me share my story this morning. I know my family can’t be the only family that has experienced this but it really makes you think about what you go to church for and why we celebrate Christmas.

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  21. We have an advent wreath. Starting 4 Sundays before Christmas we come together each evening and light the appropriate number of candles, have an advent reading and a prayer, and sing some Christmas carols. It really helps to bring our focus back to Jesus and what we’re celebrating after a busy day. Then we wrap it up with a piece of chocolate from a big box of assorted chocolates.

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  22. We read Luke and the kids put on a play with Mary, riding on the donkey, (back of an older cousin) coming to the Manger, (an ottoman) angel, (child in a sheet and garland halo) says, ” I bring you….. you get the idea.The cousins take turns every year playing different parts. We also sing o little town of Bethlehem, Hark the Hearld Angels sing, at the appropriate times in the story.

    When we decorate. We talk about Christmas symbolism. Evergreen tree, every lasting life, points to heaven. Lights, Jesus is the light of the world. Red ribbons, the blood of Jesus covering our sins. We give gifts because Gid gave us the greatest gift of all,Jesus!

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  23. I miss your daily messages. This mornings story about baby Jesus really touched my heart as it is spot on. Thank you for sharing.

  24. I praise God for the Spirit’s work in and through you Sharon. This message is full of truth by focusing on our Savior and glorifying Him alone. Your messages continue to bless and point me always to our God and Savior. Thank you for living in love and obedience to our King of Kings.

  25. I couldn’t agree more! In fact, I wrote this poem many years ago and this seems like a perfect place to share it.
    Hope that’s ok!


    “Twas the day before Christmas and all though the city
    There was honking and rushing. It was not very pretty.
    Folks groping and grasping for last minute gifts,
    Desperately trying to finish their lists.
    To Sears, to Target, to Wal-Mart, to Macy’s
    Grab a Starbucks, keep shopping, spending like crazy.

    The night was not silent, the world had no joy,
    There was no deeper meaning than buying new toys.
    Grappling and pushing for that last marked-down iPod,
    Nobody kneeling at the manger of my God.
    The meaning and purpose of Christ’s royal birth
    Seemed totally lost to the lost here on Earth.

    Men have pushed Him aside in pursuit of their lusts.
    They run and they strive – but it’s never enough.
    For each man was made with a God-shaped hole
    Filled only when we surrender our soul
    To the One who left power and glory above
    To live here among us, and die, out of love.

    From where did we get this compulsion to buy?
    From a brilliant department store marketing guy!
    It wasn’t always this way, for throughout the past
    Christmas was actually seen as Christ’s Mass;
    Celebration of the Son of God, Son of Man,
    The cornerstone of God’s redemptive plan.

    Families gathered in their Yule-Sunday best
    And feasted on turkey that was just as well-dressed.
    There were carols and dancing and games would be played,
    Mistletoe hung and egg nog made.
    And yes, they gave gifts – but just modest tokens
    While prayers of thanksgiving were quietly spoken.

    The real gift was having each other that night,
    To love and to hold and to kiss each goodnight.
    They knew the secret that we can revive
    It’s people, not things, that bless our lives.

    It’s Jesus’ birthday the following morn.
    So isn’t is Him, who came and was born
    Who deserves the gifts like the Magi brought?
    So what can we give Him? Let’s give it some thought.

    Can’t we all do with a little bit less
    When there’s hurting and hungry people to bless?
    “For what you do for the least of these
    You do for Me.” He will be pleased.

    We can still gift each other without going broke
    While reaching the lost and giving them hope.
    So think about giving baby Jesus a shower
    And introduce others to the infant King’s power!
    Give to some mission that is God’s helping hand.
    Donate time, write a check, take some sort of stand.

    If you decide to feed bodies and souls
    I promise you won’t get a stocking of coal.
    I know that Saint Nick would approve with full favor
    ‘Cause even a jolly old elf needs a Savior!
    So Santa did say as he flew out of sight
    “Bless Jesus this year, share His love, shine His light.”

    Stephanie Aguilar
    Copyright 2010

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  26. Oh how I love reading all your devotions Sharon! Thank you so much for sharing ..I printed this dream of Mary’s and will read it to my grandson Jaxxon when he comes home from school today. He is 9 and such a blessing in my life!

    You have such a way of touching my heart through your messages, I want to grow closer to God every day.

    Merry Christmas and a Blessed New Year to you and your family!

  27. I am very sorry for the childhood that your experienced, and very joyful that you found our Lord along the way. I understand your take on the season. I grew up very differently. I had an intact, loving home, not perfect for sure, but my mom made Christmas special, Jesus was remembered as the reason for the season. She kept a small nativity out all year as a reminder of Christmas all year long.

    In my home Jesus is celebrated with multiple nativities as a part of my decor, and a nativity advent calendar. When the grandchildren were little they loved taking out a character, angel, or animal all familiar to nativity sets and put it on the board (its magnetic). Jesus is added on Christmas morning of course. They are teens and tweens now, and so busy that I don’t see them as much as when they were littles, but I know when they come this week each will go to the advent calendar to see if it’s up to date, and I usually leave the last pieces for when they arrive. We celebrate with a meal and grace is primary along with sharing thankful thoughts. My husband always reads Luke 2 before we open gifts, and I know if we acted like we forgot to start with the Christmas story, there would be reminders from all over the room. Yes, I know how blessed I am.

  28. We also have several Nativity sets in various places around our home. There are a couple of small ones that I keep out all year long, as a reminder of why we celebrate and honor Jesus. It brings me the greatest joy to listen to our grandchildren, ages 6 and 8, say grace before our family meals, thanking Jesus for coming to save us. Happy Birthday Jesus!

  29. When our children were little, we decided not to “do” Santa but wanted to keep the wonder and excitement if Christmas morning.

    A few weeks before Christmas, I took a magazine rack that looked remarkably like a manger, placed it under the tree. Whenever my kids did something kind or Jesus-like, they were given a handful of hay to place in the manger, to “make it better for baby Jesus”.

    Christmas morning, one of the gifts unwrapped (randomly assigned and wrapped like all the others) was a baby doll wrapped in rags – baby Jesus. The recipient placed him in the manger. It was a reminder of the greatest gift of all.

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  30. 🎄❤️ This heartfelt letter reflects the true meaning of Christmas – the birth of Jesus. It reminds us to keep Jesus at the center of the holiday season amidst all the commercialism. Like Mary, let’s treasure moments of love, faith, and reflection in our hearts. Make space for Him at the table, read the nativity story, and offer Him gifts of commitment and love. Let’s cherish the real treasures of Christmas. 🙏🌟

  31. Thank you, Sharon, for being so transparent about your family. My husband had a similar childhood, and was often whisked off to a friend’s house during Christmas to avoid the conflict. I have pictures of him and his two sisters at a kind family’s house. They have big smiles on their faces as they opened presents, but deep down… But things are thankfully different at our house!

    Anyway, we are going to adopt your idea of praying for the people that send us Christmas cards…love that!

    Merry Christmas and a blessed New Year to you and your family!

  32. Hi Sharon
    Best Christmas wishes from Australia.
    I received an email yesterday containing your Christmas Love 1 Corinthians 13 message.
    So good and so needed.
    That led me to search out your site.
    Thank you for sharing the hardship of your life and the positive outcome God has wrought – wonderful.
    I am a Lay Preacher and am wondering if it would be OK to share Christmas Love 1 Corinthians 13 with our congregation in Shepparton Victoria in our Christmas Eve service.

  33. My three ways of making Jesus the center of my Christmas is:

    1. Making sure that I read on Sundays for Advent devotionals

    2. Posting images of Advent..for example 1st Sunday I post images of 1 candle, 2nd Sunday 2 candles and etc.

    3. I post on Facebook 1st Sunday the theme for the sermon that was shared on that day and 2nd Sunday same thing and 3rd Sunday same thing..

    In other words, I make sure I celebrate Advent, following along and digging deeply for the nugget of truth…

    Thank you.

    Merry Christmas and have a prosperous New Year!

  34. Thank you for the reminder to refocus on that which is most important. For God so Loved HE gave His Son. For to us Is given a Son. He will save us from our Sins. That is the real celebration!

  35. Thank you Sharon for this beautiful reminder of what’s really most important, your transparency and love!!♥️ Its helped me refocus and apply some of the special and unique ways we can acknowledge celebrate the perfect Gift of Baby Jesus with out all the material gifts !! God Bless✨

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