Jesus' birth is certainly important. It's a miracle. The same God who created the unverse came to live among His creation. He visited us for a while. That fact alone is incredible.
Jesus' death is equally important. God gave us everything; our lives and our potential. But it wasn't enough for us. We made the choice to go our own way. We separated from Him and His will for us. Because God is perfect, this choice should have resulted in an eternal chasm between us and God.
But it doesn't have to.
God's plan included a remedy. As Jesus, God submitted to us. He was crucified for no reason. Jesus' death on the cross was sufficient to remedy every bad choice made by every person yesterday, today and tomorrow. It's why Jesus cried out on the cross, "It is finished!"
It's the most incredible gift imaginable.
And it is why we should always remember it at Christmas. Granted, it is a lot more pleasant to think of Jesus as a baby in a manger, surrounding by wise men. Christmas songs and Christmas trees, at Christmas, make us feel good.
But the real meaning of Christmas is the gift of Jesus. God gave us a gift with eternal consequences.
If you really think about it, the Jesus plan is the only one that makes sense, as a remedy for the sins of mankind. How else could any of us be "right" with God? We can't earn it. We can't be more "good than bad," no matter how good we are. It's because He gave us our lives. After that first sin, we can never make the scales balance. We will always be in a deficit position, no matter how much good we do. And if we are honest, we will realize that all of us have done much more bad than good. The only way to balance the scales (or perhaps more appropriately, neutralize the sin), is if God Himself does it.
That's exactly what He did.
We accept His gift through faith. We affirmatively acknowledge the gift through a simple prayer: "God I'm sorry for going the wrong way. Thank you for making it right through Jesus."
So, at Christmas, as we give our gifts, let's remember God's gifts- our lives and everything we have. And let's remember the ultimate gift of Jesus- the gift us his life for us. Jesus died, so that we can live.