Christmas memories, unforgotten tidbits of the past, stir to life when the leaves start changing. They fill our minds as the outside temperatures drop, and we sense winter approaching.
What type of memories swirl into your mind? Do memories drift around you like colorful falling leaves or do they batter you like vengeful winter storms?
Not everyone’s memories of Christmas are tender treasures—something to store away and breathe life into once a year. There is sorrow in this world. It doesn’t flee and hide on special holiday.
There was hardship and a long, tiresome journey connected to what we call the first Christmas—the birth of Jesus. Mary, the young teenager giving birth to God’s son, didn’t experience delivery in a sterile hospital room, with pain medicine and attentive nurses. She didn’t even have her own mother or a female relative nudging a cow out of the way and kneeling beside her in the piles of loose hay. They weren’t there to coach her through surging waves of contractions, to wipe her brow, or murmur words of encouragement.
The multitude of scents and the variety of natural sounds in that rugged stable—where Jesus was born—aren’t the touches of reality we long to have flowing through our homes on Christmas morning! But I’m sure Mary’s memories of that event held sweetness and joy, mixed with the discomforts and a thread of worry about the future. She held in her human hands—the Son of God. With the birth of Jesus came a gift of eternal life—to all who accept. Tender memories of the actual birth stayed with her the rest of her life, because she was His mother.
When we open our hearts to God’s amazing Gift, we want to share—because it’s a treasure to cherish. By sharing what we’ve received, we help others learn to think of Christmas as a time of good memories.