This time of year can be very overwhelming. There are presents to purchase and wrap, trees to trim, outside decorations to display, baking to be done, parties to attend and in the spirit of Christ-likeness, neighbors to invite to church cantatas. It would be so much simpler to spread the goodwill of Christmas cheer throughout the 365 days of a calendar year.
But most of us get on board, find our Christmas spirit and enjoy this blessed holiday. This year, however, I'm thinking of those who have lost loved ones and are experiencing a huge absence this year. I'm reminded of those with family situations or loved ones with health issues that are bringing down the Christmas festive spirit. It happens. So how do we embark on the Christmas season with heavy hearts? How do we get the joy we experienced as children watching the glow of Christmas lights, the music of Christmas carols and the excitement of unknown contents in packages under the tree with our name attached?
First, through memories of Christmas past. Times where all our loved ones were gathered to celebrate being together etching forever photographs in the storage of our minds. If you stop and reflect you can almost taste those memories. Personally, I remember my Aunt Edna's fresh coconut cake or my Aunt Ruby's homemade custard and then, of course, my Mom's banana pudding. The laughter and cousins running around in joyful play.
But times continue to fly by as our own children have become adults and distance, often due to careers and job opportunities, snatches family time. But there is one part of the Christmas story that remains steady, true and never changing....the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ. He is a firm foundation that stands a part of this season of the year. He will never change. He will never grow old. He will never forget us and He will keep our memories safely guarded in His gentle hands.
We pause and can be sad of changes, but the greatest joy of all is the Savior of the World who came into being, fully God and fully man, to be our perfect sacrifice, our righteousness, our eternal gift with our name personally attached.