It was the Christmas when…

…my parents pretended our Christmas presents were heavy when they were actually really light.

…I burst into tears while singing “Go Tell It On The Mountain” during the children’s Christmas program at church.

…the cat used the presents under the tree as a litter box.

…my parents told me they were getting a divorce.

…no decorations went up at my house.

…I spent the day in the hospital after giving birth to my son on Christmas Eve. (Was it really 18 years ago?)

…my son kept saying, “Just what I always wanted” after opening each Christmas present.

…we spent the week in Virginia on vacation.

…we spent the week in St. Maarten on vacation.

…we found out we’d be adopting a 9-year-old boy (Was this really 7 years ago?)

Some good memories. Some great memories. Some bad memories. Some really bad memories. I’m not sure I even remember them all exactly as they happened, but I know that they all contribute to making me who I am today.

What Christmas memories stick out most for you?

Ultimately, Christmas is a time for remembering. It’s a time for being glad and sad at the same time. After all, nothing will ever be like it was.

Aren’t you glad you won’t ever be exactly like you were?

The first Christmas was more remarkable than any before or since But, Christ’s second coming gives us reason to celebrate Christmas anew every year.

We can and should look back occasionally. After all, we can remember and learn from the past. Yet, we must choose to look forward. Look toward creating new memories and shaping the future you. And, look toward the second coming while joyously celebrating the first.

How does looking toward Christ’s second coming change how you celebrate His first coming?

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17 Replies to “It was the Christmas when…”

  1. Oh man, I have tons of Christmas memories.
    Although I don't remember, I was born on Christmas – so that's a memory for my parents, I'm sure. I remember getting a bass guitar when I was in 8th grade. Then there were a few bad memories. When my wife was about 5 months pregnant with our first child, she started having some bleeding. We spent a few hours in the ER on Christmas. Everything ended up being alright though. But still not a fun memory.
    As far as how Christ's second coming changes how I look at his first coming, it reminds me of the eternal nature of the whole story. It reminds me that the baby in the manger wasn't the beginning of the story, but just a critical turning point in the middle.

    1. Would be cool for you to write down all your memories to share with your kids one day. I like how you connected the first Christmas with Christ's second comment. The idea that it was a crucial turning point should not be lost on us at Christmas.

  2. I remember getting house shoes which turned out be memorable in a good way for one reason. They seemed to appear out of nowhere–mystery. When I was grade school age, I remember going to the Christmas Eve service at our church. When we returned home, six pairs of house shoes were lined up under the tree (one for each of us kids). I've always wondered how they got there. My dad doesn't remember and my mom, who would have remembered, passed away a few years ago.

    The one thing about those house shoes is they remind me of God's mysterious ways. A king born in a barn–what will He surprise us with next?

  3. Kari, I have taken to sharing you on my facebook page. Today my comment was the questions, what was your best and worst Christmas memory? I am hoping it will catch people's eye and they will read you and subscribe!__Love your list. I remember crying the first Christmas Eve my daughter chose to be with her boyfriend and his family instead of at church with u s, she was in college.__I was fortunate to spend over 50 Christmas Eve's either during the day or in the evening with my mom…she has been home with God for 7 years now and I still miss that.__I remember Christmas programs at school, the one room kind, and later the 2 room kind. Funny but I don't remember anything about church and Christmas as a child. Not till I was an adult and my ex husband and I played Mary and Joseph one year. Strange how some churches make a big deal out of it while others don't.

    1. Thank you so much for sharing my blog, Mary. That means a lot to me! Your "list" of memories gave me goosebumps, I think because of the realness I sense behind them. Thank you for sharing. Perhaps there are some good "reflections from the road" based on these memories? Just a thought.

  4. For some of our Christmas's in the past I have written in a journal keeping up with what went on during the season. It has been fun to look back on it. One time Esther was about 8 she would run out of the living room after every gift she would open taking nothing with her and gone for a short time. I finally followed her and she was marking off things that she got on her list. 🙂 I tease her about being the only young girl in America that wanted an overhead projector for Christmas. Her wanting to be a teacher… she got it. Thinking about the second coming makes me realize we have reason to celebrate both; one in retrospect and one in anticipation.

    1. Journaling Christmas memories is a great idea. An overhead projector certainly is a unique gift for sure! Love fun memories like that, even if they aren't mine. Remembrance and anticipation… that sounds like another good blog post title!

  5. One of the greatest gifts I want to share with my children's children is that Christmas should not be a one day a year holiday, but a season of anticipation and then reflection regarding the opening chapter of the Good News of God's love gift to us. When they ask what I mean I want them to understand that His birth was but a beginning of a story that is still being played out today. I pray they will find the love gift from God is more than a baby in a manger and definitely more than all the Christmas decorations and gifts under the tree. Yes, I want them to have special memories to recall, but I also want them to never forget the real reason for the season.

    1. Such a terrific way of saying that, Coach! And I have no doubt that you will express that in one of your blog posts to your grandchildren. What really grabs me about what you said is that Christmas truly is a state of mind and not a holiday or even a season. Our memories really are pat of all of what it means to celebrate Christ… blessings, goodness, mercy, grace.

  6. You know, I don't think about His second coming that much because I figure I won't be here for it! I could be wrong, but honestly I think about heaven more. And more than that even, I think about His presence with me here. That's what Christmas is to me–Jesus with us. I just wrote about a revelation I had about this–that Christmas isn't about what we do but what God did. It's also not about what my family members did a number of years to really get my goat! LOL We all have some pretty big memories of this time of year, including a lot of hurts and losses. I'm so thankful that I can't lose the Lord's love and presence.

    1. Good point!. I plan to be in Heaven already too! You're so right in that Christmas is not about what we do but everything about what He did. And, I would add, everything about what He still does. I mean, when we celebrate our own birthdays, we don't celebrate us still being babies (I hope), right? We celebrate who we are today, and that's what we do with Jesus at Christmas too. We celebrate who He is in our lives today. And focusing on His love and presence sure does help us not focus on what others do to us. Great points Melanie!

  7. Kari, I have a lot of specific Christmas memories, but I also have some "general" memories. Like having such a hard time falling asleep on Christmas Eve when I was kid due to the excitement. I thought about that when you wrote about anticipating Jesus' return when we celebrate Christmas. I should be so much more excited about the Second Coming than I was about waking up to presents on Christmas morning as a child!

    1. There seems to be a general lack a proper excitement for Christ's second coming, and I am just as guilty as anyone. Distractions abound, I guess. Or, maybe it's needing to get to know Him more. Probably both.

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