Christmas Memories

Holidays always hold memories for us. From our earliest years, we’ve stored up scenes in our hearts and minds of Christmas Eve or Christmas morning. Nostalgia burns deep in our hearts.

There’s a bittersweet feeling during the holidays. Some from remembering how it used to be to maybe how it never was. Regardless of what those memories are filled with, they come unbidden.

What’s your best Christmas memory? Is it wrapped in sparkling tinsel and scents of turkey and cranberry sauce? Is it busting with energy as gifts were exchanged and excitedly opened?

My best memories are those filled with less rather than more. There was the time when we didn’t have much money, had a small artificial tree, and few gifts. Yet my family remembers that Christmas as a special one.

The very best Christmas memory is more recent and more poignant.

It was our first Christmas here in Germany. Our spindly tree could almost pass for Charlie Brown’s. It had few decorations, a small number of lights, and even fewer gifts. Packages from family didn’t arrive. There would be no rush on Christmas morning, no merry phone calls, no family dinner.

And my heart was breaking. For the first time in my life, I found myself without the sound of children’s voices, laughter, and love. Regardless of how we celebrated the holiday, there’d always been children. Not this year.

I sat alone in front of our tree wishing only for Christmas to be over. In the darkness of midnight, bells chimed throughout the small farming community I lived in, and I lifted up a prayer to God. I admitted that all my memories couldn’t satisfy the emptiness within me. I knew there was something more and I whispered that He reveal it to me.

Then God helped me see that yes, there were no children this Christmas; there was One Child, and I was invited to spend Christmas with Him. I knew then that I’d discovered a truth that may have eluded me the rest of my life. A truth I’ve wanted to know and feel for so many Christmases.

It took one silent night alone, but for the presence of my Father, to truly understand.

Sometimes it takes losing our most treasured things to find the most precious gift.

Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in clothes and lying in a manger. Luke 2:11-12, NIV

Christmas Blessings, Francine

2 comments:

    On 5:05 AM Cami said...

    "Sometimes it takes losing our most treasured things to find the most precious gift." The rich, young ruler never new what we do. Things get in the way.

     
    On 7:59 PM Magdaleine said...

    "Sometimes it takes losing our most treasured things to find the most precious gift."

    That is extremely profound and so very, very true.

     
 
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