These snapshot recollections of Christmas helped shape my faith and my life. I hope they spark memories of yours.
Chocolate Covered Cherries and a $100 Bill
Each Christmas, my granddaddy gave my grandmother a box of this candy with a $100 bill on top. One year after opening presents, they realized the money was missing. After a thorough search, they concluded the crisp green bill had been crumpled with the wrapping paper and tossed into the fireplace. Although my grandmother was unhappy about losing her monetary gift, she looked past that to enjoy her family.
That memory reminds me how temporary material possessions are. We desire them, buy them, and gift them. And some bring pleasure or usefulness. But memories, ah those sweet memories and lessons of Christmas linger in our hearts for a very long time.
Quaint Little Church
Our daughter-in-love gave us this quaint little church before she married our son. For years, we prayed for the girl who would join our family and for the parents raising her. See the cross on the top? To me, it’s a symbol of answered prayer, for she is a precious gift of God to our son as they raise children to honor the Lord.
Chickadees and Carols
I gave this plate to my mom because she loved chickadees. The words printed on it remind me of my dad singing carols as my mom played the piano. The sound of hymn lyrics often filled the home of my childhood. (The ornament beside the dish pictures Daddy as a young boy.)
Handmade Trees and Snowman Smiles
Our daughter crafted these lovely trees and painted the snowman salt and pepper shakers when she was a teenager. She has a talent for making others feel loved with her special gifts and warm smile. Our home is brighter when she is here with her wonderful husband and baby. I pray that as the Lord fills my heart with joy, my smiles and presents touch others this Christmas.
Missing Baby Jesus
When my granddaughter was seven, she helped me arrange our manger scene. I noticed Jesus was missing and lamented, “Oh, no! Baby Jesus is missing. I can’t find Him anywhere.”
This precious little one said, “It’s okay, Gigi. I know where He is.”
Lying on her stomach, she stretched her arm as far as it would go under the sofa and subsequently produced the missing figure. (Um—maybe I hadn’t moved furniture to vacuum?)
She continued, “I put Him there last year because I didn’t want you to put Him in the attic. I knew exactly where He was.” (The meaning of this memory is obvious.)
One additional comment:
Although we know the wise men did not actually visit Jesus until later, you’ll notice I left them close to the manger. The reason? One year our dog Cookie grabbed the camel and chewed off a leg. Now the three-legged animal must be propped against the stable to stand with the wise men. (Life’s not perfect.)
During a summer visit to Germany, we purchased this simple ornament depicting the miracle of the Messiah’s birth. During that same trip, God performed a miracle in the heart of a family member causing all of us to rejoice. That moment. That miracle. I will never forget. God does work miracles. Trust Him with your need today.
This picture of me hung on my mom’s tree along with those of my two brothers. Together, we turned the placement of the photos into a game. When I arrived, I’d place my ornament on the top of the tree and theirs on the bottom.
As each brother arrived, he would switch the pictures to ensure his was at the very top. Each of us claimed our mother had placed her “favorite” child on the top. Lots of laughter ensued as each sibling discovered a less favorable location.
Of course, our parents loved us equally. They were the first to teach us that Christmas was about Jesus, and they taught us that laughter with family and friends is to be cherished.
Peace at Home
This dove, a symbol of peace, is resting under the gold wreath my mom purchased on a trip to Williamsburg, one of her favorite travel destinations. Its proximity to the dove reminds me that she lived a life of peace, rarely fretting about tomorrow. She dedicated her life to Jesus Christ at an early age and trusted Him. She made our home a peaceful and joyful place. I want to experience the peace of Jesus at Christmas and throughout the year.
You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you.
Isaiah 26:3 ESV
Labor of Love
The tree itself wouldn’t be up without a labor of love. My sweet husband annually purchases a Frasier fir because it’s my favorite. He wrangles it into the living room, strings more lights than he prefers, tucks the wires, and with his servant heart shows love to me and our family. Thank you, Honey.