Written by Jamila Holder from Brampton, ON

Deck the halls with boughs of holly! Another Christmas, with all its nostalgic traditions, is upon us. As the presents gather under the tree, whether a freshly cut blue spruce or a pathetically thin one like you see in Charlie Brown, the Christmas countdown is inevitable. Cards have been swiped and the per-paid presents wrapped. All that’s left is the arrival of Christmas.

Whether you sit at the table of a grand feast with all the trimmings or you curl up on the couch with a frozen TV dinner, the bliss of the Christmas season is familiar. Millions of ways to celebrate, yet we all try to sway to the melody of a blissful Fa La La.

When Christmas has come and gone, we sometimes feel we didn’t get what we wished for. When I was younger my wish was a picture-perfect family portrait with everyone in loving embrace, including my father. After Christmas such a wish can turn to disappointment and regret for many people.

A father can be defined as “a precursor, a prototype or early form.” In other words, a father is one from whom I draw identity, worth and value. The Christmas season for some is a glaring reminder how this might be missing. Perhaps his presents were beautifully wrapped but empty promises, leaving you feeling robbed of your self-worth. Perhaps your father abandoned his post, whether physically or emotionally. He might be a liar and a coward in your eyes (and you might use even harsher words in the safety of your thoughts).

One of the first verses many Christians learn is, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son” (John 3:16). God loved, so He gave a gift beautifully wrapped in flesh to an unappreciative world.

If your human father has never given you a Christmas present because of his imperfections and failures, it’s worth remembering that he did at least one thing right by helping create one beautiful gift – you!

However flawed your earthly father, he is a broken prototype of a perfect One.

This Christmas, remember you are invited to know Him, your heavenly Father. In Him there are no false promises or intentions to leave you alone. In Him there is nothing but peace and love.

If you would like to know more about your heavenly Father and how you can begin or deepen a relationship with Him, step up and talk to a church leader or some other church member about it. Your Father is waiting for you with open arms.