Reflections by the Christmas Tree

by Nancy Kay Grace

But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. Luke 2:19 NIV

Can you imagine what treasured memories Mary must have had? She witnessed her baby sleeping in hay, shepherds telling of the angels’ message, and Simeon and Anna in the temple prophesying over Jesus. Mary held baby Immanuel, God With Us, in the midst of her reflections.

Our personal reflections are not as dramatic. After Christmas, we see unwrapped gifts, empty stockings, and scraps of shiny paper on the floor. The twinkling tree remains, full of memories from Christmases now past.

Personal reflections on Christmas memories become new gifts under the tree.

Sitting by the tree with a cup of mocha mint coffee, I reflected on warm memories—laughter in the sparkling lights, the joy of a grandchild discovering special ornaments, and cuddles with the newest family member, too little to care about the excitement.

Life moments were shared around the table and tree. Grandpa’s reading of the nativity story was memorable. The once-scattered family enjoyed meals together for the first time in months.

Unfortunately, not all Christmas reflections bring happiness. Some carry sorrow from remembering our parents who have passed on and will not know their great grandchildren. Many folks have heartache from loneliness or a recent loss. Some can’t wait to pack Christmas away because of the pain, hoping for better year. I’ve had Christmases like that.

With the inconsistencies of life, it is a blessing to know that we are not abandoned, though sometimes we may feel that way. At those times, remember the gift in the manger—Immanuel has come. God is with us in the highs and lows of life.

Through Jesus’ birth, God gave us hope to endure any darkness, peace that does not depend on circumstances, unconditional love that covers any unworthiness, and joy that gives us another chance.

These are the Christmas reflections that we can carry in our hearts all year.

What are your reflections by the tree? If they are painful, may the peace and hope of the Lord redeem your memories. If they are cheerful, may the embers of love and joy remain in your heart.

Either way, look to Immanuel, who is always with us.

This article is brought to you by the Advanced Writers and Speakers Association (AWSA).

About the author: Nancy Kay Grace is thankful for the gift of peace in the face of turmoil. She is a speaker and award-winning author of The Grace Impact, a devotional about the touch of God. As a cancer survivor, she writes about hope, perseverance, and God’s grace. For relaxation, Nancy enjoys hugs from grandchildren, playing worship songs on piano, hiking, and travel. Her website, blog, and GraceNotes newsletter sign-up are found at

Join the conversation: What memories from Christmases past are most precious to you?


3 thoughts on “Reflections by the Christmas Tree

  1. Amidst all the emotions and memories of the past, I am thankful God is with us. I miss loved ones who have gone on to Heaven. Yet, I am thankful they are with God. I am also thankful for the special memories being created with family and friends. Merry Christmas!


  2. This is beautiful, Nancy. I’m remembering friends right now whose grief is fresh this year, whose table has an empty chair or two around it. And I too pray that they will sense the loving presence of our Emmanuel, and rest in our Prince of peace. Thank you, and Merry Christmas to all our sisters❣️


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