We know that Yeshua was not born in December, and unfortunately Christmas has become a time of materialistic commerce. But some of us have traditions we may not want to lose.
My childhood memories of Christmas bring back thoughts and emotions of profound joy and happiness. But I lived in a different time. The great depression and the war had just ended. We didn't have much. But there was a sense of relief and optimism.
I didn't receive an abundance of presents under the tree, maybe 2-3. But my greatest joy was in the presents I made for other members of the family. My mother started us on these projects in the summer (that kept us busy on rainy days). So I grew up with the understanding that Christmas was a time to bless others.
When I became a mother and began my own family, I retained the good traditions, but was caught up in the materialistic fervor of those post-war years. It wasn't until my children left home that I came to my senses and decided to reconstruct the celebration of the season.
My most important principle has become maintaining peace and harmony. So almost everything materialistic has gone (and what little remains, like a family Christmas letter, I do not allow to cause stress). A conscious effort to foster peace has led to closer relationships - with my husband, my children and their families, and members of our two extended families. But isn't that the shalom of Shabbat, which allows us to grow closer to our God? Perhaps the greatest lesson for me has been the miracle of shalom, which nurtures family relationships.