Christmas, Boxing Day and The Reason for the Season

Published by Paul on

Two traditions based around gift giving, Christmas and Boxing Day are celebrated in December.  While many believe Christmas was an offshoot of a secular historical Roman holiday, more of us hold that the birth of Christ is the “reason for the season.”  Boxing Day celebrated in Great Britain and Canada, the day after Christmas, also had its foundation in giving gifts to the poor and to those servants who had to work on Christmas Day to serve those more affluent types.

Sis, Kids, Me and Student

Does it seem to you that the world is doing its best to transform both days into a frenzied shopping spree leading to gift giving and perhaps shading the real reason behind the two days.

Yesterday, I had the privilege to be part of Christmas breakfast with the men who are staying in 1st Presbyterian Church in Bellevue,WA as part of the Congregations for the Homeless service to those men in transition.

 Joining me were my sister, her two children and an exchange student from China living with my sister.  You begin to find the real meaning of the season when you are talking with very knowledgeable men who are struggling with some issues and have very little in the way of worldly possessions. 

Stacey Witte, the volunteer director/case manager/angel cooked the breakfast and the rest of us served, drank coffee and talked with the men.  Christmas night a family at 1st Presbyterian prepared a fabulous meal for the men who ask for nothing but a place to sleep, some fellowship and direction.  It is a privilege to serve and they are very thankful.

A discussion at breakfast

Monday, Christmas eve morning, we studied “Why Jesus Came” in our bible study and what a great discussion.  An example was used: avid fans don’t go to a football game to look at the type of football used (Nike or Wilson), or the quality of uniform, or who is in the team front office.  They come to see results on the field, hopefully a win for the home team.

 It may be that many people get so caught up in the birth of Christ (an event) and the gift giving/buying (all admirable), that the real purpose of “A Birth Like No Other” is overshadowed.  Jesus came to save the lost, to reveal God’s character and to lead the way to productive living and eternal life.  The reality of what Jesus did speaks to me when I sit with these wonderful, homeless men who are seeking some answers, something better.  It is a privilege to share that a special birth took place that was designed to set the captives free.  Let’s hope that people in the Commonwealth won’t overlook the original purpose of Boxing Day that in many ways reflects the love of Christ.

 May the New Year bring hope and vision to you and yours as you help some one on the way to a better life, or perhaps, God will send someone to you to encourage and care as you travel through a difficult time.


Paul founded his consulting practice, Career Life Institute, in 1992, and the Living Perspectives ministry in 1982. He has mentored hundreds of life coaching clients and assisted numerous organizations with strategic planning. Paul holds a Master’s Degree in Psychology and has written a book, How a Man Handles Conflict at Work. Paul has ministered in E. Europe, and in Ethiopia since 2004 (microfinance, education, and prisons). Currently his active mentoring ministry is in Seattle to individuals and Christian non-profit organizations. He spent 16 years as a leader/volunteer with Congregations for the Homeless in Bellevue and is currently involved in working with those praying for revival in the Greater Seattle area and bringing opportunity to different populations in S. Seattle.


Colin · December 26, 2012 at 9:23 pm

Thank you for sharing with the homeless men about The Homeless Son Of Man, and sharing your experience with us. As a one time member of The Commonwealth it was good to be reminded about the meaning of Boxing Day, and the fact that it isn’t the day when we take back to the store all the boxes of stuff that we got on Christmas Day, but don’t want.
If you want a blessing go to Utube and look up “The Queen’s Christmas Message” for any year, but especially 2011 when she explained the real meaning of Christmas better than most pastors can.
May God bless you in the New Year.

JoAnn Grambush · December 27, 2012 at 7:35 am

Thank you Paul for sharing your morning with us and with the guys at First Pres…it was a blessing to meet the men who are finding their way in these hard times, to hear their stories and share my own. May God bless them with many hopeful experiences throughout the year. Glory to Jesus Christ.

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