Memories of a Simple Christmas

Christmas these days seem so busy and hectic. Even most churches are working overtime putting last minute touches on their programs for the benefit of those who only come on Christmas and Easter. We can get so caught up in the activities of the season that we overlook the benefits of the event, the blessed miracle of that first Christmas, the incarnation of Christ. It wasn’t always that way.

I recall a much simpler Christmas. I grew up in Indiana during a time when most every Christmas was white. It was easy to feel the seasonal cheer when winter scenes permeated our views. We didn’t need Christmas cards to remind us of snowy scenes-we we’re in the middle of them. I remember our parents taking us downtown to view the animated displays each department store would put in their windows. We could stand for hours looking at them. I remember watching people ice skate in our city circle to holiday music playing in the background.

Caroling was still a thing. Our family would take us downtown to listen to choirs singing on the circle or to shopping centers where Carolers would sing the classics rarely heard these days. And Christmas Eve services were simply a nativity played out by the children with all their imperfections, followed by a candle lighting and singing Silent Night. Simple, beautiful, meaningful.

The older I get the more nostalgic I become. Christmas remains my favorite time of the year but I’ll always cherish Christmases past. One thing that hasn’t changed though is the message of Christmas. God needed someone to fulfill the law so that we could be restored and reconciled to him. That process began with the incarnate birth of Christ on that first Christmas night. The angels rejoiced as they announced his coming. The world forever changed that night. The creator stepped into his creation so that we might become children of God.

I pray that as we prepare for the holidays, we take the time to personally reflect on what Christmas means to us and that we don’t lose sight of the simple miracle we celebrate each year that ushered in eternal life and a forever Christmas to those who believe and follow the Christ child.

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