What is your most memorable Christmas ? The year of the cool toys? The Christmas when the whole family gathered once more at Grandma’s? How about the office party that went on and on and on? Each of us has at least one memorable Christmas. It stays with you. You can close your eyes and transport yourself back to that magical moment.
I have a few memorable Christmases of my own. Many of them go back to my childhood. I remember the year I was 4 years old. When I ran out to the living room Christmas morning, I was shocked and amazed to see a whole nursery for my brand new Tiny Tears baby doll. A wooden cradle, playpen, high chair, and a plastic bathinet which held water. I can close my eyes and return to that site, and the thrill. I still have my Tiny Tears doll. She’s packed away in my cedar chest. Only the wooden playpen survives to this day. Several Christmases ago I refurbished the playpen and gave it to my granddaughter for her collection of baby dolls.
As a child, Christmas Eve was the big event of the year. We performed in the children’s’ Christmas Eve Service at church. It was tradition on Christmas Eve that after lunch, Mom would supervise baths, put curlers in our hair, dress us in our tights and slips and tuck us into bed for a nap. At church we would recite the familiar Bible passages, and sing “Away in a Manger” and “Silent Night” in German. From Kindergarten on, I memorized the Luke 2 story and recited it with my class mates. “And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a degree from Caesar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed…” One year we got to sing it. I felt like the Mormon Tabernacle Choir singing the ” Halleluia Chorus”.
One year, upon awaking from my Christmas Eve nap, I walked out into the kitchen to my mother’s shock and dismay. I had the measles. I didn’t get to do the Christmas program. My broken heart was pacified by the fact that I got to wear sunglasses all during Christmas.
Then there was the first Christmas with my new husband, and our first Christmas with baby. Later, there were Christmases without loved ones.
For many people, Christmas can be a time of sadness. They have no one to celebrate with. No presents. No Christmas dinner. No Christmas joy. But Christmas isn’t about all that. Cookies, cards, gifts, trees, decorations, and lots and lots of shopping. Christmas is about the birth of our Savior Jesus Christ. God the Son became a baby to grow up in our sinful world, to live the perfect life we can not live, to die and suffer our punishment, and to rise again from the grave victorious. He came to redeem us, to save us. All because He loves us.
Christmas is a time of love. Love between God and His people. What else do we need?
Merry Christmas! Spread the good news of great joy!