The Essence of Christmas

The Essence of Christmas

Last night, I recalled one of my favorite Christmas memories. I remember when my four sons were elementary school age. We lived in Edwardsville, IL. I was a Pastor of a very small church. The church didn’t have a lot of financial resources but the people were caring and had big thoughtful hearts always ready to share.

I didn’t receive a large salary so we had to tell our kids to pick one present they really wanted. My wife, Debby, and I sat our kids down to explain the best we could, about not having enough money for a lot of presents. Our emphasis to our kids during that Christmas season was about relationships. Relationship with God and each other was the most important thing not only at Christmas time but throughout the whole year. I remember reading them the Christmas story out of the Bible. They had a lot of questions, some easier to answer than other and we tried answering them at the best of our ability.

I learned an important life lesson that Christmas morning from my kids & beautiful wife. Life is about faith in God and family. It wasn’t about me failing as a Dad to provide a ton of gifts nor going on a Christmas trip to Maui. It was all about the Christmas story, (the person of Jesus, Mary & Joseph). I learned to get my focus off of my fears, worries, and materialism

What’s really important about Christmas? The birth and life of Christ. I know this Christmas, it’s all about me remembering the greatest gift of all -when God gave us his one & only Son. For this & more, I have a heart of gratitude. I will be intentional & give all my time & love to my family (especially the grandchildren).

This season, I encourage you to seek the true essence of Christmas and keep spreading the love & care to those who may be having a “Blue” Christmas! Let’s share our light to others and keep making a difference in people’s lives.

Merry Christmas!


Written by Terry Reilly




Terry was a pastor for nearly 30 years. He has also taught students how to drive as a Driver’s Education Teacher for over 35 years. He is a father to 4 sons and the Papa of 6 wonderful grand kids. He enjoys spending time with his family. Terry loves serving people! He loves sharing his faith and feels that it is a privilege to care for people at “end of life”, focusing on living not dying.