Written by Susan Stedman
I have a confession to make. I have not put up a Christmas tree or done much of anything to celebrate that holiday since 2009.
When I was a little girl, Christmas meant so much happiness and peace that I looked forward every year to not just the 25th, but the whole month of December. It wasn’t the presents, even as a child, but it was the way that my family seemed to make an extra effort to get along.
We spent each Christmas at my Mema’s house. She decorated every free surface of her house with red, green, and gold Santas, reindeer, angels, candles, a plastic nativity scene and so many beautiful gifts in colorful wrapping paper. Everything twinkled. My favorite thing to do was to lay on my back underneath the Christmas tree and watch the lights flicker and reflect off the glass ornaments. I could do that for hours. As I think of it now, tears keep blinding me from seeing the computer screen.
It was magical. The whole spirit of Christmas seemed to be alive in every person’s heart so that arguing, disagreements, and bad feelings were put aside, at least for this day. My mom and dad, who fought daily, put aside their animosity so that we could have peace and calmness for this day. When I think back, that was my best gift of all.
This month, we cleaned out a storeroom that we had ignored for years. In my effort to forget Christmas, I gave away every one of the decorations I had held onto, some from my childhood, in the hopes that one day I would want to celebrate again.
Tonight, I popped onto YouTube. Tomorrow is December 1 so I should have expected Christmas videos. This one featured Christmas commercials from the 60s and 70s, the years when my best Christmas memories originated. I started to cry immediately. Others had commented about having the same feelings.
I thought about my grandparents – my Grandaddy has been gone for more than a decade now - but my Mema is ninety-one and she has decorated her whole house just like every year. A beautiful white tree with red ornaments, snowmen everywhere, and her best Christmas china placed on her huge dining room table, just waiting for her family to come see her on Christmas Day. She felt that our gift to her was a day without loneliness. I was ashamed again. I told her just a few days ago that I didn’t care about celebrating Christmas. It wasn’t the same. I didn’t want to walk through her house and look at all the decorations she took pains to place.
I must write her a letter now to tell her how wrong I was; she can’t hear me when we talk on the phone anymore. I need to apologize to my daughter for stealing Christmas from her. It has nothing to do with our society or a dysfunctional family. It is because I forgot what Christmas was truly all about. The greatest gift in the history of history was given to our world on this night when God sent His Son as a tiny, innocent baby to grow up and spread love and peace to all, and then to die for our sins so we don’t have to, if we only believe. That is the true meaning of Christmas. Not about what you see with your eyes, but what you feel and believe in your heart. Susan Stedman 11/30/22
About Rays of Light:
Whereas most blogs are from one writer, these posts are from a variety of authors and styles. These scribes all attend our Kingdom Writers group. We pray our passion to share God's love through writing will encourage you today!
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