Lately, I’ve not had a lot of time to think. It’s been a crazy 3-4 weeks. I haven’t even had but one day off since the Saturday after Thanksgiving. It’s Advent Season and that always ensues chaos at the church. Don’t get me wrong though… I love the chaos and I love my job. But, sometimes I don’t really get the chance to slow down and just think about why I love Christmas so much. It really is my favorite time of the year (of course, only after Thanksgiving, as anything before that drives me nuts)!
Earlier this week, our Senior Citizens group from the church called “The Golden Adventurer’s Club” went to the Precious Moments Museum and Park. It was a beautiful place with such beautiful thoughts throughout.
First of all, it reminded me of my childhood. My mom was a big collector of the Precious Moments collectibles. We even had a precious moments Nativity Scene Wood-Cut-Out on our front lawn. I can’t say that I ever thought they were the most beautiful things in the world, but they were meaningful because they meant something to my mom (shout out to my Ma for all her influence on me though). During the Christmas season I would love the smell of our house that usually resembled some kind of warm vanilla, the look of all colors in our decorations with lots of reds, golds, and greens, and the sounds of our home as it always had a Mariah Carey christmas cd or a Kenny G christmas cd. Not to mention every year watching the clay-mation Christmas short films with my dad. I still do that when I get the chance too! I don’t have many memories of specifics under the age of 12 but I do have nostalgia about all of these things. This was the experienced Christmas of my childhood before my parents would eventually split, not an uncommon experience of the millennial generation.
After my parents were divorced and remarried, Christmas took on a whole new look. It has been very different ever since. There are such wonderful things about these Christmas season experiences, too. The warmth of hugs of such joyous families with so much love is shared throughout both of the homes. It is however different.
There isn’t an occasion that goes by where I smell a warm vanilla candle and think, “home.” There isn’t a time that I watch the Clay-mation Christmas Rudolph or Frosty or Land of Forgotten Toys and don’t think of my dad. And truthfully who of us doesn’t have these memories?
As I think about these things, I’m reminded of what I truly love about Christmas. Sure, I could say that it’s those things that I remember with smell, sights, and sounds and it would be just as true as any other thought. However, what I truly love about Christmas is the gathering of all those people and the shared memories that we have. It’s remembering the times from past, and still making new memories. I was watching The Grinch that Stole Christmas (the Jim Carrey version) last night and was again reminded that Christmas never has been and never will be about presents. Yes, we get to give and receive gifts, but if they were to be gone one day I wouldn’t miss a single one. I would, however, miss any person that was no longer there at the Christmas gathering.
As I get older though, I recognize it won’t always be so easy to gather everyone at the same Christmas each year. Time marches on, things change, people pass on, families morph and grow, and we continue to celebrate the birth of Christ, Immanuel, God with us. And that’s where I think my biggest lessons have been lately. God with us. If I had to sum up God in a single word it would be, love. Love is what Christmas is all about then. Christmas is about God’s love with us through Jesus Christ. It’s about the love that we share with one another. Love that is remembered and love that is shared for new memories.
I suppose this is why I truly love, Christmas. Oh, that and snow I guess. 😉
Why do you love Christmas?