Christmas isn't a story, or even the beginning of a story. Jesus existed long before he humbled himself to take human form as a baby in a manger.
John 1:1-3Jesus' birth was rather the beginning of the end of God's creation, the first of the final steps towards the fulfillment of God's plan and purpose for mankind.
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made.
Most people look on Christmas as a happy time, and indeed it is, but many may not truly understand why. It's significant that Jesus lowered himself to our level and lived as a man:
Philippians 2:5-8But Jesus didn't only come to give us an example of humility and to teach us how to live together in peace. He came to fight and defeat, utterly and forever, the forces of evil and rebellion.
Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus:
Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death -- even death on a cross!
Jesus' coming -- Immanuel, "God with us" -- was a joyous occasion, but Jesus life was not a happy life. Isaiah prophesied of the messiah:
Isaiah 53:3How could it be otherwise? Surrounded constantly by sin and evil (as are we, but how insensitive we become!), he was rejected by his closest friends and family, thrown out of towns, chased by bloodthirsty mobs, and finally captured, tortured, and executed as a humiliated criminal for crimes he had never committed.
He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering. Like one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not.
As I said, Jesus' life was not a happy life, but it was a joyous life -- happiness and joy are not at all the same. While happiness comes from our fleeting circumstances, joy can live in us continually because joy is based on our hope of the future. When Jesus was suffering and dying -- and perhaps Satan thought his own victory was at hand -- the world looked bleak, but just around the corner were the most joyful, triumphant words ever spoken.
John 19:30It is finished. With those words, the Son of God announced victory over sin, and death, and evil. The battle is over; all that's left is to wrap up some loose ends. There's a victory feast, a huge celebration planned in Heaven, waiting for us, and our only job is to invite our friends and bring along as many as want to come.
When he had received the drink, Jesus said, "It is finished." With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.