It’s Christmas Eve! I love this time of year, don’t you? Maybe you do maybe you don’t. For some people this is a really hard time of year. It’s a time when you especially miss those who have passed on. The ones who, in the past, made this time of year really special for you.
Mrs. Joy and I were recently talking about how holidays change. I think we all have this picture in our head of what holidays were like as a child. If that was a good picture we try to re-create it. If it was a bad picture we try to change it.
Sometimes it is hard to let go when things are changing. I have a friend whose father passed away four years ago and the holidays just aren’t the same since. I can see how that would be so difficult. I think ahead to when my parents and grandparents passed away and how different that will make everything. It’s a hard thought to handle and my heart goes out to those who are already dealing with that.
I think that no matter how your holidays are, and how different they are from what they used to be or from what you want them to be, there is always something good and solid and beautiful that you can hold on to. A friend of mine recently called them nonnegotiable. We talked about them at MOPS a few weeks ago.
For a lot of us it was the Christmas tree. We are blessed to live in an area where you don’t have to drive very far at all to cut down your own Christmas tree from the mountains. For some the experience of going out and getting the tree was such a good memory of togetherness and fun. For some of us it was the decorating part, either making the tree picture perfect or hanging all the fun odd ornaments that have been made or purchased over the years, each containing an old memory that we would pass on to our kids. For others it’s just a constant reminder that God’s love is Evergreen and sweet smelling. For most of us it was all of that and more.
|photo from aliexpress.com|
There were other nonnegotiable traditions that every holiday season has to hold. The day that this is published I will be spending the whole day at my Oma and Opa’s house with my mom’s side of the family, as I have every year of my life. We will play games, eat German food, read the Christmas story, sing carols, and open presents. Then eat dessert!
These moments are so special. They are a treasure. And as Mary treasured up the moments of that first Christmas in her heart, I hope you will do the same. Even if things don’t go as imagined (I’m sure she didn’t think she would be delivering her baby in a stable!). Even if things are unexpected (having a bunch of total strangers show up just hours after you have given birth!).
The wonder and joy and excitement of the season can still fill us and our families no matter what happens.
That is definitely a nonnegotiable.
Blessings and joy to you and your family this Christmas and always,