Skip to main content

Considering Christmas

As Christmas is soon upon us, I just wanted to take a little time to reflect on some of the memories I have had of Christmas mornings over the years. I can remember one particular Christmas morning when the tree contained everything I wanted - kind of tom-boy toys, but nonetheless, they were all I wanted and there they were! A set of six-shooters in buckle on holsters, a little cowboy outfit in brown and yellow complete with cowboy boots! That particular year I wanted to be a cowboy. The next I wanted to be a soldier, so the tree was surrounded by green plastic army helmet, plastic canteen, and the like. It was around my fifth or sixth Christmas that the "theme" of my wishes changed to a Barbie and Ken doll, and even a Chatty-Cathy doll. Oh, I wasn't done being a tom-boy, I just found out girls asked for dolls! I grew up with a neighborhood full of boys, so I had asked for boyish toys as a result. I think I was blessed by parents that allowed me to just be me - they didn't try to convince me that cowboy outfits and combat gear was not "right" for a girl and allowed me to have what would help me connect with the friends I had in the neighborhood. They knew that connection was very important for me at that age. My neighborhood would change later on in life, as would my circle of friends, bringing new interests along the way. What mattered was that I was growing up feeling very loved!

So I give you a new command: Love each other deeply and fully. Remember the ways that I have loved you, and demonstrate your love for others in those same ways. Everyone will know you as My followers if you demonstrate your love to others. (John 13:34-35 VOICE)

I can remember car rides into the late hours of the evening after Dad finished up a good day's work, all bundled up and secure in the family car, just exploring the streets of Phoenix for those homes where lights festooned the entryways and adorned the trees. In those days, the "decorating" was pretty traditional, with those big colorful bulbs. Every now and again you came across a home of someone with some creative talent in woodworking who had created cut-outs of various things like nativity scenes and even Santa and his reindeer. These would be lit up in colorful display, sometimes across rooftops while others were nestled in under the sprawling trees of the front yard. The lights and displays were memories I will long carry into my old age, but most important was those hours in the car with Dad and Mom, carols playing softly from the dashboard speakers and us singing along sometimes in perfect pitch and at others, kind of off-key!

There was always Christmas Eve mass. Mom and Dad would make sure I went down for a nap just after supper, then they'd awaken me about eleven o'clock, help me dress in whatever pretty outfit mom had picked for the occasion, and off we'd go. It was all pomp and circumstance, with all manner of incense and flowing robes, altar boys adorned in crisply starched black and white robes. The church would be packed and the anticipation of Christmas morn was palpable for every kid in the place. What made it even more amazingly cool was that I got to open one present when we got home! I'd have scoped out the tree and had made the tough decision about which one would be the package to get that particular honor. Yet, there were always one or two more packages each Christmas morn that weren't there before we made our way to bed to cover up our heads. That made the moments of Christmas morn all that more exciting as a child - knowing Santa still had to visit!

Christmas day was filled with all manner of terrific foodstuffs and lots of sweet delights. Mom and grandma would enjoy their fruitcake and tea. Dad would dunk Christmas cookies in his coffee cup. My favorite were those round white ones all covered in powdered sugar. Mom made them special each year for me - even when I was older and a full-grown woman. She cannot bake any longer and I guess that tradition has been passed on to me now. I don't do justice to them, though - not like she did. She just had a way of making Christmas special. Even that one year we ventured into the fudge making fiasco that yielded about 24 jars of fudge sauce for our ice cream! The stuff never set up, but we laughed and laughed about having all that white, rich goodness for months to come.

We might not appreciate all the love of the season we have experienced until we take time to look back over those years gone by, but as we near this Christmastime, let's just take a moment to pause to consider the love of family, friends, and Christ. Just stoppin!


Popular posts from this blog

The bobby pin in the electrical socket does what???

Avoidance is the act of staying away from something - usually because it brings some kind of negative effect into your life.  For example, if you are a diabetic, you avoid the intake of high quantities of simple sugars because they bring the negative effect of elevating your blood glucose to unhealthy levels.  If you were like me as a kid, listening to mom and dad tell you the electrical outlets were actually dangerous didn't matter all that much until you put the bobby pin into the tiny slots and felt that jolt of electric current course through your body! At that point, you recognized electricity as having a "dangerous" side to it - it produces negative effects when embraced in a wrong manner.  Both of these are good things, when used correctly.  Sugar has a benefit of producing energy within our cells, but an over-abundance of it will have a bad effect.  Electricity lights our path and keeps us warm on cold nights, but not contained as it should be and it can produce


When someone tells you that you need to wrap your mind around some concept, they are telling you that the subject at hand will take some effort on our part to actually get enough of a hint of it in order to even remotely understand it. The subject is complex, even a little overwhelming, and we will have to apply ourselves to really grasp it very well. We cannot wrap our minds around God's wisdom and knowledge - because it is infinite and our brains are sadly finite. We can only 'think' so far and then we have to 'trust'. Some of us think there is nothing we can trust if we cannot 'think' it through, but this will never work when it comes to our faith. Faith requires trust in what is unseen and not fully comprehended. The truth we believe is really building our trust, but until we approach God with more trust than 'thought', we will never fully grasp some of the things he has prepared for us. We cannot wrap our minds around God’s wisdom and knowledg

Give him the pieces

What or Who is it that causes division among you right now? Maybe it is more of a 'what' than a 'who' that is creating the division between you and something you need in your life. Perhaps you are struggling with an addiction to something that keeps coming between you and true liberty from the hold that thing has on you. Yes, addiction is really the worst kind of enslavement one can imagine - being so emotionally or psychologically attached to the 'thing' that any attempt to break free causes so much trauma in your life that you just cannot imagine being free. But...God is above that addiction - he is stronger than the emotional or psychological pull that thing has in your life. Maybe the dividing force in your life right now is a 'who' - a tough relationship challenge between you and a coworker, a spouse that seems to no longer share your interests or values, or even a relative that doesn't understand some of your choices and now chooses to withdraw