Rev. Margaret Minnicks is an ordained Bible teacher. She writes many articles that are Bible lessons.
If you want to know the real story about the birth of Jesus, read what is in the Bible, specifically in the Gospels of Matthew and Luke. Please do not rely on what you see on some Christmas cards.
Many of them do not match up with what the Bible says about the birth of Jesus. People who do not know what the Bible says will believe the wrong photos on the cards.
The Magi (Wise Men)
A popular Christmas card is one with a picture of three wise men (also known as the Magi). There is nothing really wrong with showing only three wise men, but people should know that there were more than three. It was an entire caravan of at least twelve of them. It is understandable that only three wise men took center stage because they presented three gifts to Jesus. The gifts were gold, frankincense, and myrrh.
Scripture does not say the wise man saw the newborn baby while he was in a manger, but that is what people believe. Let's set the record straight. The wise men did not arrive until about two years after Jesus was born. The trip was long, and remember the star took them in a roundabout way to Jerusalem before continuing on to Bethlehem. While there, King Herod asked them questions about Jesus because he had a plot in mind. Herod felt threatened and wanted to know where Jesus was (Matthew 2:1-12).
By the time the wise man reached their destination, Jesus was not a newborn. He was a "young child." The family was no longer in a stable, and Jesus was not in a manger. The family was living in a house.
"And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him." (Matthew 2:11)
Jesus was approaching two years old. That's why Herod sent out a decree for all boy babies two years old and under to be killed (Matthew 2:16). So, you see the wise men did not visit the young child until much later. The lowly shepherds did arrive on the night of Jesus' birth (Luke 2:8-20). They are seen on some Christmas cards and in the nativity scene below.
The Nativity Scene
Whenever you see the nativity scene on a Christmas card or in a painting, it will have a big group of people and animals. However, all those in the nativity scene were not present when Jesus was born. People should know that only Mary, Joseph, and the animals in the stable were present at that time.
The nativity scene is similar to the end of a play when the entire cast comes out to take a bow even though everyone was not present in every part of the play. That is similar to the nativity scene.
Song: "Joy to the World"
Some Christmas cards have lyrics of the first verse of "Joy to the World" written by Isaac Watts that he composed based on Psalms 98. The words on some Christmas cards are wrong. Watts wrote: "Joy to the world! The Lord is come" and not "Joy to the world! The Lord has come" as many people sing and Christmas cards depict.
Variety of Christmas Cards
Not all Christmas cards are religious with biblical scriptures or Christian symbols such as the Magi, nativity scene, or Star of Bethlehem. Other themes relating to Christmas and the winter season are also printed on some cards.
Often the cards have traditional seasonal greetings such as "Wishing you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year" or "Season's Greetings." A popular wish on Christmas cards is "Peace on earth and goodwill toward men."
Secular symbols include Santa Claus, reindeer, Frosty the Snowman, caroling, shopping, and decorations which are many. The centerpiece of the decoration is the Christmas tree along with a wreath, poinsettia, candles, holly, and mistletoe.
Usually, people pay special attention to the cards they send while keeping the recipient in mind. The recipient is always happy to receive a card. It is a way of keeping in touch at the end of the year even if people have not seen one another all year long.
No matter what picture is on the Christmas cards you receive, and no matter what picture is on the Christmas cards you send, the Christmas greeting from this writer is a very simple one shown below.