What Christmas Means to Me

Andrew Carlton

Christmas is the unexplicable feeling that
is in the air of more love than any other time of the year. To me, it isn’t a coincidence that the love I’m talking about occurs around the same time that we celebrate our Savior’s birth. Being with family and friends, giving to those people like we never give any other time, loving like we don’t usually love, that’s what Christmas means to me.
I not only think of Christ but I remember anxious nights with my two younger
brothers. As much as we tried to sleep, we would stare at the ceiling all
night in anticipation. We were always so excited when our mom or dad would
wake us and take us to the tree to see what Santa had left.
Jill Parr
Christmas is simply the most savored time of the year for my family and I.
Everything is unique from the music to the scents right down to the food.
The first few years of my marriage were challenging, trying to keep both
sets of traditions alive between my husband and I. But we eased into it –
we found the beauty has been in setting our own traditions and realizing
that there’s no rulebook on how to take on Christmas. The most rewarding
thing of all is to see your children capture the true essence of the holiday
and want to give back to the needy and the less fortunate. They have
captured the heart of Christ at a tender age and they are sharing the gift
of what Christmas is all about – Christ’s love for us.”
Russ Lee
“Christmas is the time my family and I rejoice in Christ’s birth. We reflect
on His love and the love we have for each other. It is the time we reach out
to those in need to show them Jesus’ love.”
Jessie Daniels

“Christmas to me means a time of love. A time for family to get together to celebrate the love given to us by our Lord. And to celebrate the birth of
our Savior.”
Jimmy Fedd

Growing up in a very musical family, Christmas was the perfect opportunity for my parents to force us to perform for the family. Most siblings that form bands have the basics covered: drums, guitar, and vocals. We went above and beyond… I played the piano, Amy played the violin, and Doris played the harp. “Silent Night” was never the same! (album: I Find You, Doxology Records)
Bishop Eric McDaniel

“During a time when Christmas has been so commercialized, my family and I
focus on Jesus as the reason for the season.”
Caleb Rowden, Wisdom’s Cry
Christmas is a time for great celebration. We enjoy wonderful times with
our families and friends, and together we can celebrate the birth of our
Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. I am only 21 years old, but I think the older
you get the less the presents mean, and you really begin to understand the
importance of the time that you are able to spend with those that you love.
Christmas has become so commercialized, and I think it’s important for us,
as Christians, to really focus on Christ and give him the honor that he is
due during this wonderful season.
Jason Harbour, Ten Days After
“What Christmas means to me – Relentless love. When God decided to send His Son to earth as a baby to
save us, He set a new precedent for how far love will go. Nothing could
ever compare to that. I hope this Christmas I find more time to dwell on
this rather than my typical whisper of thanks between eggnog and the ‘A
Christmas Story’ DVD.”
Steven Curtis Chapman
Relatives from my dad’s side of the family spent every Christmas Eve at our house. We had a big, old house out in the country with a long driveway. I would stand by the front window, waiting to see car headlights coming up the driveway–that meant the start of Christmas Eve with lots of gifts, food, and fun. Before everyone left that night, we would turn on the TV and watch the radar tracking of Santa’s sleigh to see how close he was to our house. Then my brother and I would hurry off to bed and try to get to sleep before Santa arrived.

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Randy Stonehill
My favorite Christmas memory is from a year or two before I realized that Santa Claus was mythology meant to teach us about giving. I was in the room I shared with my brother with our two twin beds. I remember the head of my bed was right by the window. My mother came down and said, “You have to go to sleep because Santa’s not going to come while you’re awake.” I remember thinking in my childish, wishful way that I could almost hear the bells right outside my window. I remember thinking, “I think he’s coming; I think he’s getting closer!” Christmas stirs us to hope and dream, to hope beyond the confines of our everyday world. I didn’t feel betrayed when I found out Santa wasn’t real. What I have kept is that feeling about loving Santa and Christmas because it gets you to dream beyond your everyday self. That is still what I love about Christmas today. It shifts my vision down to focus on what is really precious – a relationship with the God who remembers our name, the God who came down to meet us face to face.

Ginny Owns:
Ginny Owns loves Christmas. She thinks the idea of giving gifts is a lot of fun and she also likes getting gifts too. She highly anticipates Christmas Morning. Her “must do” for Christmas is eating Cheese Straws.
She enjoys spending Christmas Eve with her grandparents and Christmas Day with her other grandparents.
Lil iROCC Williams
Lil iROCC Williams lets readers in on some of the Christmas traditions at the Williams’ home. “The highlight of the year is the Christmas Night Talent show at my Uncle Keenen’s house. It’s fun but a very serious competition.”

Chris Rice
Chris’ favorite Christmas memory was when the family was giving his older brother a mini bike. They parked in the
kitchen and their dad asked his brother to go into the kitchen to see if the coffee was ready. He walked in to check and
out and said it wasn’t. He didn’t even see the bike sitting in there. They had to send him back in there a second time
and then he screamed.” Chris said they still think about that every year and laugh about it.
A Christmas tradition in the Rice family is with Chris’ older brother and his kids put out a nativity set every year, but
leave Jesus out until they read the Christmas story on Christmas morning and then bring Jesus out and put him in the
Charlie Lowell, Jars of Clay
One of my favorite Christmas memories is hearing my mom retell the story of how I pulled the Christmas tree down on myself. I don’t remember doing it, but I love listening to her tell the story about how it happened, how terrified she was and how quiet I was under that tree.
Steve Mason, Jars of Clay
You know one of my favorite memories is more of a contemporary one. It’s tradition that my family would go cut down a tree and place ornaments on it. Well, one year we bought a plastic tree and found that we could reuse that tree over and over again. It was smart because we found that we were saving a lot of money, so every year our family would come together and separate the sizes of the branches, and we did that as a family. And that was one thing that brought us together at Christmas.
Mac Powell, Third Day
One of my favorite Christmas memories is when I, in 1995, right before Christmas, asked my wife Amy to marry me. It was a big secret thing. She didn’t know that I was going to ask her, and I was a little sneaky and had to tell some little white lies to hide it from her. But, eventually I asked her and she said “yes.” So, it’s been six years now, and we’re very happily married and hope that your Christmas is just as good. God Bless.
David Carr, Third Day
One of my favorite Christmas memories was way back in the dark ages of the 1980s. I asked for a keyboard–a Casio incredible, multi-sound, multi-drumbeat, one-speaker, 48-key keyboard. And I didn’t get it. You think that I would have been disappointed right? I actually got the better one, the one that I didn’t think I was gonna get. The one with 52 keys had more sounds. It had really realistic drum sounds. And you know I am a drummer, so that’s a big deal to me; it’s a very important thing. And, man, it had the tiny little keys on it that you could barely put your fingers on. It was a great Christmas for me.
Michael Boggs, FFH
My favorite Christmas memory is actually one when I was about 8 years old. My sister and I were debating which one was gonna be able to open up their presents first. My sister and I started getting into this fight, and I thought that I could actually handle her. She was just a few years older than me, and she went to hit me on the shoulder, and I ducked. She managed to black my eye and bloody my nose. I’ve never fought my sister since. But that’s my favorite Christmas memory.
Mark Schultz
As a young boy we always spent Christmas Eve at my Grandma and Grandpa Schultz home with all the aunts, uncles and cousins. All the boys would
pile up downstairs sleeping three to a bed. As the youngest boy I loved being able to hangout with my older cousins. I remember trying to stay awake and
watching out the window over my Grandpa’s desk to see if I could see Santa and his sleigh. Of course we all fell asleep. The first child awake would wake
the rest of us up, normally before sun-up, then we would rush upstairs to the waiting gifts. We would all have a stocking hanging across the mantel as
well. My Grandma would cook a huge breakfast that we would share all morning long. The morning would not be the same without this musical Santa
my Grandma had that would play Christmas Carols. You pulled a string to make it play. My family did this same ritual every year of my life, even until
I was grown. This tradition is something that stands out to me. Being with family is what made it all so special.
Todd Smith – Selah
To me, Christmas means family traditions, memories and music. The anticipation of the season– now I can see the
wonder and excitment of being a kid at Christmas in the eyes of children around me.

Kathy Troccoli
When I think of Christmas, two things immediately come to mind. The first
is, of course, the meaning of the holiday and the external impact of Christ’s birth on the world – the ultimate reason for celebration. I also think of some of the most beautiful music ever created – the songs for the Christmas season. I have a deep appreciation for the standards made famous by those 20th century voices and the big band jazz sound that so often provided the foundation for their arrangements.
Janna Long
Christmas is one of the most beautiful times of the year. I love the chill in the air, the beautiful lights, eggnog lattes, shopping and so many other things. Just thinking about the season gives me warm fuzzies and excitement. It also reminds me of just how blessed I am to have been given so much while many have so little. A wonderful husband, a supportive family, a great house——-so many blessings. God has been good, always supplying every need. And yet I know His goodness goes way beyond any of these things. His presence in my life through the good and bad of this year has been the greatest comfort to me. Having gone through the most challenging 3 months of my life this fall, I have found a greater dependence on Jesus than ever before. And while I am grateful for
many wonderful gifts this holiday season, I am most grateful for the honor of calling God almighty my friend.
Buddy Greene

My favorite thing about Christmas is the music. I love hearing Christmas
songs everywhere I go – department stores, elevators, concert halls,
churches. It doesn’t matter where, it just seems like the whole world is
tuning up, trying to come into harmony. Even unbelievers find themselves
humming “Silent Night” or “Joy to the World”. For a season the music of the
Messiah becomes everyone’s song.
Shane Moe – guitar player for 38th Parallel
My most memorable Christmas experiences took place in those years when my entire extended family on my mother’s side celebrated the holidays together under one roof. With aunts, uncles, and cousins spread across the nation, accomplishing this kind of reunion has always been difficult. There’s definitely something about knowing that everyone was present and about seeing these very different kinds of people brought together by the one thing they’ll always have in common. And as I was by far the oldest of all “the cousins,” I always wound up at the bottom of a pile of giggling, adoring toddlers who treated me as though I was their favorite person in the world. I could never figure out why.
Christmas is a time of paradoxes, one to embrace and one to remedy. We
rightly celebrate an infinitely powerful, eternal, and perfect Savior
becoming a helpless human child, born amongst animals and dependent on weak
and sinful parents. Sadly, though, we commercialize the ultimate act of
love and humility through our greed and selfishness.
Babbie Mason
“I love getting together with all my family, sharing old memories to my nieces and nephews about their parents, my brothers and sister; and I love remembering my first and favorite doll, Suzy Smart who was an A student and a singer.”
Curt Collins (new artist launching this March)
Christmas… it is a wonderful time of the year for everyone at our house, We just love the smell of Christmas! My wife Bettinna, loves to sit in front of the fireplace and drink hot cider while the kids snuggle around us. The anticipation of all of our family being together brings such joy. Although it is a bittersweet joy now that my mom and dad are gone. There is a gap in our hearts and lives. But, we know that we will see them again in Heaven. That hope is what keeps us strong in their absence.
I remember when I was a kid going with my mom to deliver food to a needy family during the holidays. That was an experience I’ll never forget. It was way out in the country and these people had nothing. No heat or air, one couch, one chair a bed on the floor several mouths to feed and very little food. I remember the “chill” of that room like it was yesterday. We were a little scared at what we might see when we walked into that house. Giving them that turkey, dressing and all the fixings, made their eyes glow and our eyes tear. “When I was hungry… you fed me!” They were so loving. The look on their faces was worth the many miles we journeyed. We are so blessed and take so much for granted! God’s presence was truly felt in that house, at that moment. As the holiday season draws near let’s not forget to thank God for all He has given us. He calls us to be Christ like. To live like Christ, to Love like Christ, to be like Christ, and to even die like Christ! Let’s not forget all those out there this holiday season that are less fortunate than us. Pray that all will have enough to eat. Pray that all will have a shelter over their heads. That all will be with someone they love and care for. Don’t forget those that are incarcerated. Remember Christ said “when I was in prison… you visited me! ”
Janet Paschal
“My favorite thing about Christmas is that one moment on Christmas eve when
I’m sitting in the living room with my family, sipping hot apple cider or
hot chocolate, we’re listening to old Christmas records and getting ready to open our gifts. There’s just something really special about that moment.”

Lisa Bevill

Lisa Bevill
Well, one of my kids’ favorite Christmas things is to set up our Christmas Village on our dining room table. Over the years, I’ve painted over 25 pieces, little houses that light up. And added one each year. We’ve got an ice skating pond, tall pine trees, and little people. It looks like a
winter wonder land in the middle of the living room. My two boys, Cody and Trevor, love driving their matchbox cars all over the village and they especially love landing their airplanes and helicopters on top of these fragile porcelein pieces and of course bombing the peaceful city
below…..they love to be GI Joe a little too much. It’s truly a sight!
Oak Ridge Boys

Duane Allen – My best Christmas memory is when my wife dressed my new baby (daughter Jamie approx. 12 days old at the time) in Christmas clothing, put her in a basket and put her under the tree.
Joe Bonsall- My favorite Christmas memory is of my Father going downstairs the night before
Christmas and setting up a platform with a train track, then putting the
Christmas tree right in the middle. The train would circle under the tree.
It was a fabulous Lionel train set. It had an engine with smoke, coal car, Baby Ruth
candy box car and a caboose. That’s how I remember Christmas.
Richard Sterban – I was a college student at Trenton State College, a music major,
studying voice. Part of what we did was to go caroling around the college. That’s a happy memory. It was great fun.

Derek Webb, Caedmon’s Call
I sincerely hope that everyone is having a joyful Christmas season. This is the hope we have, that even in our wretchedness we are lovely because of Jesus. We, as His bride, are adorned in His righteousness and therefore loved as daughters and sons. This is indeed good news!
It always amazes me that the God of all creation humbled himself enough to be born as this little, helpless child. And not just born in a comfortable place, but born inside this little trough that animals eat out of. That> ‘> s just the most amazing irony at Christmas, that this God we have would be so humble. It amazes me every year, so thanks God, you’re awesome.
The thing I love most about Christmas is getting to spend time with family. I think the thing that I remember most and that we still do today, kind of a tradition, is getting together at my grandparent’s place on Christmas night and sitting around in a circle in the living room passing out our presents and going around one by one and opening them. It takes a couple hours, but we love it, and we have a great time, and it’s just awesome being able to spend that time with family.
Larnelle Harris
I give thanks that Christmas has its own meaning and doesn’t depend on any labeling from me. In light of the events of this past year, Christmas could very easily go by as just another day. No, I’m not referring to 9/11 or the Sniper attacks or even the senseless violence in our world. But on a more personal level, there are loved ones who passed away this year who I won’t be sharing Christmas breakfast with, and there are changes taking place in our family that, quite frankly, I’m just not prepared for. I could easily become so pre-occupied with this year’s events that Christmas would become just another day. A day that would come and go with barely a notice.

But the meaning and importance of Christmas was not, and is not, up to me. It is, it was, and will be a day of great meaning to the Heavenly Father who gave love unconditionally. I am the recipient of that love. Every year about the same time, no matter what the year has brought my way, Christmas is a day as mysterious and wonderful as the stars above. For it represents, for me and all mankind, the joy that comes after a long night. I need it this year. I need to stop and meditate on what God says it means. I think we all do.
Paul Colman, pc3
We don’t know exactly what Santa Clause sounds like over here, but around Christmastime, this is what you hear in Australia: “Goodday, here’s your presents aren’t they beeaauutiful?”

I remember when I was 12, Christmas Day, my parents bought me a drum kit. I think that they got it for 90 bucks, and I think they were really excited about what was going to happen when I got the drum kit. But when I played it for 12 hours a day for the next year, I think that they really regretted giving it to me. But thanks mum and dad,’ cuz now I can tell Phil what to do when he plays the drums, yeah.

It always amazes me that the God of all creation humbled himself enough to be born as this little, helpless child. And not just born in a comfortable place, but born inside this little trough that animals eat out of. That’s just the most amazing irony at Christmas, that this God we have would be so humble. It amazes me every year, so thanks God, you’re awesome.

Phil Gaudion, pc3
I remember at Christmastime we used to have these pillow cases, which we would put out to get our presents in. We all got to draw on them a picture of Santa. I got tormented by my brothers because I actually made Santa cross-eyed. I was too young, so I didn’t understand. But, Merry Christmas everyone.
Grant Norsworthy, pc3

You are probably very aware of this, but in Australia, Christmas is very, very hot. Its the middle of our summer. The strange thing is, we still find ourselves singing things like “Dashing through the snow, in a one horse open..” huh? It doesn’t seem to make much sense. Another thing that doesn’t make much sense to me at Christmastime is a lot of the time shopkeepers, they’ll get white spray paint and spray it right over their windows to make it look like snow in the middle of summer. That’s Australia for ya, but you know, God is the same right around the globe . . . and we love that.
Rick Muchow (Saddleback Church/Encouraging Music)
Christmas is all about love. ‘For God so loved the world that he gave His only begotten son.’ Christmas is the celebration of the greatest event of all time…..our Saviour’s birth. Christmas is wonderful time of the year to remind the world of God’s magnificent love. The most meaningful part of the Muchow’s Christmas is sharing God’s love with each other, our neighbors and community.
Dex Alexander – All Together Separate

Well, Christmas is as important to All Together Separate as it is with everyone I’m sure. Our most memorable experience as a
band is, without a doubt, the Evans Family Christmas.
When we were starting off, there was a friend of ours
who wanted us to play for her family’s Christmas get
together. We rocked for all eight of them, including
Grandma and Uncle Evans. It was raucous!!! We knocked
over a glass of red punch on their white carpet and
everything! Jingle Bell Rock!!!
We will share more Christmas quotes from your favorite artists as we receive them so check back for more!



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