Christmas Memories

When I was a child, Christmas was a blessed time, a time for rejoicing over the Saviour’s birth, a time for Midnight Mass, Christmas carols, and preparing our hearts for the coming of the Christ child.

My earliest memories of Christmas are of Advent.  It was a time of reflection, a time to examine our inner selves.  In school, we learned about the Jesse Tree.  It was a branch of a larger tree and was decorated with symbols from the Bible of important times or people in the Jewish faith.  Moses and his little basket, Noah and the Ark, David and his slingshot were among the symbols.

It reminded us that our Christian faith had its roots in the Jewish faith.  Jesse was the father of King David who was an ancestor of Jesus.

I remember going to church and especially the beauty of the Christmas carols and the wonder of the life-size nativity scene, set up with everyone there awaiting the coming of Christmas when Jesus would be placed in the manger.  I would kneel there just staring at all the beautiful figures.

I remember as I got a little older, walking in the crisp December air to Midnight Mass and the moon shining on the towers of our church.  The quiet, the darkness, the feeling of anticipation.

Christmas Day was always spent with family, and we older siblings loved watching the happiness on the faces of our younger brothers and sisters as they opened their gifts.  I don’t remember our parents ever receiving a Christmas gift from each other or from anyone else.  The older ones in our family got only one small gift but I don’t remember anyone ever being upset about it.  We all knew what Christmas was about.

Over the years, many things have changed.  But many things have also remained the same.  Christmas is about the birth of Jesus, a time of wonder, that God sent his only son to become like us.  I experience a sense of peace amid the hustle and bustle of this season. 

Earlier this week, 5 year-old Brynn asked her mother about Jesus.  Was he real?  Yes, she was told, and we celebrate his birth at Christmas time.  Brynn’s answer to that was, “Oh, so his birthday is coming up soon, then!”

Yes, Brynn.  Only two more days! 



8 responses

  1. LOVED this post. It brought tears to my eyes!
    God is good!
    The other evening two of my granddaughters were asking about Mary and baby Jesus and Joseph. When I explained that Joseph was a step father to Jesus, first one of the girls said, ” So Mary was divorced?” When I caught my breath I replied that no….God placed the baby inside Mary….so she was a virgin. She thought long and hard and then said, “That’s how I want to have MY babies! God can just plant the baby there….not that other….yucky stuff” (she is 11)
    Love teaching the kids about Jesus….especially at Christmas.

    • I was going to write about family time, etc., but this just flowed out.

      Tonight when I put Brynn to bed (I am babysitting), I said, “God bless you.” She said, “Why did you say God bless you when I didn’t even sneeze?”

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