Christmas Past

last xmas at 658222 cropped
My sister (or me – can’t be sure) and my brother having a quiet moment of contemplation. Trust me, it wasn’t always like this!

Christmas was a wonderful time of the year for me when I was a child. Cookies, parties, church services and gifts were among the featured attractions, and I took full advantage of them.  Still do.

We celebrated Jesus’s birth too.

In my family the celebration of Jesus’s birth was central and genuine.  We were at church every time the doors were open, and at Christmas time they were open far more than usual!  We had Advent calendars and faithfully held family devotions.  (Otherwise known as family commotions.)

My mom making cookies
My mom making Christmas cookies back in the day

Of course, there were gifts to arrange and cookies to bake and parties to attend, but that was all part of the experience.  (I know, it’s easy for me to say that when I wasn’t the one hunched over the cookie tray.)

Still, I wonder if we’ve made Christmas too complicated as adults.

I know I have.  Late nights wrapping presents, stressing out over what gift to buy and wondering if all three kids’ gifts are even, busy schedules and long to-do lists made for Christmas craziness.  It’s all part of the experience.

I’m very thankful for my Christmas’s past.  They have informed my present, and taught me that the stuff always gets done and then it’s time to celebrate and worship.

When it was all prepared, when Mom and Dad would let out satisfied sighs, when the tree was up and the gifts were wrapped and the cookies were made, we would go to church on Christmas Eve and often again on Christmas Day.

There we worshipped Jesus, God himself, who broke into this world in the flesh as a baby born in a feed trough.  Jesus was born in lowly circumstances and lived a life of humble obedience to the Father.  Jesus is my Savior.

The experience was worth it.

What were your Christmas past experiences?

“The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us.  We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.” John 1:14


7 thoughts on “Christmas Past

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  1. I didn’t grow up in a faith filled home either and then my husband isn’t a believer . . .But I love what Helen said, that there is always time to change and make new memories and experiences. :). I have learned that the best thing for me to do is to celebrate Him in my heart and life . . .and not try to force everyone else to. Thank you, Judy, and God bless you and yours this Christmas and always!

  2. Lovely post, Judy–I especially liked “family commotions”! Not growing up in a faith-filled home, I missed a lot. Praying your Christmas this year is filled to the brim with all God’s abundant blessings. love, caddo

  3. I grew up on a farm in Northern Illinois and my memories as a child center around the excitement of Christmas Eve. I couldn’t wait until Christmas morning to open my presents. Sleep evaded me and the clock moved ever so slowly until at last I awakened and ran downstairs to look at the presents under the tree.

    I know that this doesn’t sound very spiritual, but I loved the anticipation and excitement about Christmas morning. There was only one thing better and that was watching my two children struggle through the same excitement and anticipation for their Christmas mornings.

    If I could have, I would have bottled that excitement and sipped drinks from it throughout my life just to stir me up from my apathy and lethargy.

    1. Sounds a lot like my Christmas Eve’s, Larry. I remember a few sleep deprived nights! And I love your comment about watching your children experience the same thing. Thanks for sharing your memory!

  4. My Christmases growing up were not about going to church, but about Christmas Eve and presents. My family now knows we go to church first and that Jesus is what Christmas really is about. We are doing less presents and working on changing a few things. It is never to late to change how you celebrate Christmas!!

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