by Delores Liesner
We’ve had all kinds of Christmases. Some years we’d lost loved ones and were grieving. Others were celebrated in spite of financial shortages. I was indignant as a child at Christmas, because my mother would open our gifts from relatives to assess their value, so she knew how much to spend on them. Then she would re-wrap and give them to us.
I vowed I would have different Christmases as an adult –keeping the focus on Christ, along with fun and gift giving to many.
Our kids loved ‘adopting’ a family each year and hiding after we left a basket of goodies at their door. We had a Christmas tradition where the kids would either put on a play or puppet show to tell the Christmas story or give us a “concert.” My children carried on that tradition with our grandkids. I recall Michael, at 4 (now in his 30s), playing Grandpa’s guitar like a bass fiddle! We always took goofy family pictures to remember those celebrations.
As families grew and funds grew thin, we exchanged homemade gifts. A couple of those years, we limited the spending to $7.50 for gifts that fit in the stockings hung on the banister. Later we divided papers with name and hints so each person had a gift to open. Older grandchildren helped the younger disguise gifts as objects like a snow shovel, a mailbox, an airplane or even a fireplace the recipient had to crawl into to find the gift. I miss all that craziness and fun.
2020 changed up Christmas again. There were job losses, health issues, fear of what might be coming next, emotional exhaustion, loneliness, depression. It was hard not to grieve over the difference from prior years.
Hebrews reminds us: “Therefore, since we receive a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us show gratitude, by which we may offer to God an acceptable service with reverence and awe” (12:28 AMP).
“Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend.” – Author Melody Beattie
This year we’ve decided to go back to the beginning (of our marriage and our spiritual journey), to celebrate what is the SAME as we spend the day just the two of us.
Looking back to our young love we are amazed we still like each other! We came to Christ within two weeks of one another and that relationship has only grown deeper because Jesus is unchanging. Our children, grandchildren and siblings have also become trusted friends. We have a lot to celebrate after all.
Lord, I revere you, I am in awe of your love and sacrifice. Thank you for being unchanging in my changing world.
This article is brought to you by the Advanced Writers and Speakers Association (AWSA).
About the author: Delores Liesner loves to reveal the dynamic hope and confidence found in the heritage of our personal God. She writes from Racine, WI., is a CLASS graduate, 21st Century Grandma and Life Tales columnist. She has published hundreds of stories and articles. Check out her Amazon Author page!
Delores’ book, Be the Miracle, will deepen your walk with God, help you to notice others’ needs, and give you practice hearing and answering His call.
Join the conversation: From the ashes of Covid 19 and beyond, what do you see that remains the same, despite the turmoil? What are you grateful for?