I'm getting ready for eye surgery in the morning so I'm sharing a favorite post about making memories from 2014.
There's a fire softly burning, supper's on the stove...
It's the sweetest thing I know of, just spending time with you.
It's the little things that make a house a home.
Like a fire softly burning and supper on the stove,
the light in your eyes that makes me warm.
Hey, it's good to be back home again.
Sometimes this old farm feels like a long lost friend.
Yes, and hey, it's good to be back home again.
John Denver, Back Home Again
I think like most of us, the Holidays bring back memories from past years. For me, I think often of the old Downtown of my childhood. Before the Mall was built. When J. C. Penny and Woolworth's were across the street from each other. When the County Courthouse was not only decorated with lights but it was open, no one thought of blowing up a Courthouse in those days.
There were public restrooms that had a reading area and on the walls were shelves that offered free Christian tracts for taxpayers to learn about Christ. In a government building. And the Salvation Army bell ringers stood beside the red buckets on various corners.
Did you know the song, Silver Bells, refers to the Salvation Army bell ringers? It is one of my very favorite Christmas songs because it reminds me of Mom and Downtown and being a little girl when the world turned to a magic place and the joy that the ringing of those bells brought to shoppers.
Memories. Good memories of a simpler time. When "saying grace" still occurred on TV shows and no one even hinted that Christmas was a "Winter Holiday". Society was not perfect by any means. But it was based on the morality of the Ten Commandments, which still hung in school rooms throughout the country next to paintings of old white men, otherwise known as the Founding Fathers.
But there was something about those memories that went with me each day that my children were also young. Because I wrote out a reminder and stuck it on the bulletin board. What profound Truth did I not want to forget?
These are their good old days!
I understand now that for my mother, our Christmas trips Downtown were enjoyable but she didn't even think of how this was building treasured memories in her little girl. She worked full time so Friday nights when the stores were open until 9:00... that was her opportunity to shop... and stopping by Woolworth's for a treat was a much needed rest for a middle aged mother of a young child.
However, being the artsy bookish Romantic I tend to be... I realized as my children were well... children... that these were the days and months and years they would also recall from their own childhood. These were their "good old days".
Since life was not always perfect and I knew there would be some sad memories in their childhood, too, I made an effort to build as many good memories as I could. Especially on their birthdays and Holidays. Especially Christmas. Actually, the entire season from Thanksgiving leading up to New Year's Day.
Christmas was always centered around Christ in our home. There was always a tree but we are not druids. We did not worship the tree. We decorated it. We enjoyed our favorite Christmas movies and songs but they were not the reason for Christmas. They were additions which added to our festivities.
We enjoyed baking cookies and making meals and inviting friends over for making the season merry and bright. All wonderful. All just traditions we enjoyed that added to the Season.
Good memories to trump the bad memories that were inevitable in life.
But only possible because of the real meaning of the Season. Oh, I know that Jesus was probably not born in December. I am well aware the Wise Men most likely did not appear until Jesus was a toddler. I know all of that.
So why did God allow his Church to choose a time of the year once celebrated by pagans? Because He knew that Humanity needed to celebrate the Light of His coming in the midst of cold and dark days (unless you live south of the equator!). He knew we needed to... sparkle.
Anyway, why wouldn't Christ want to trump a false God? For now... even if the world does not worship Christ as Savior and Lord... they are well aware of His Day. What pagan God? It is Christmas we celebrate, whether some appreciate it or not.
(Jesus "1", Pagan god "0")
So remember, what you choose to do this Holiday season will be reflected in the memory of your children, your grandchildren, your family, your friends. You don't have to do a lot to show much love.
If you are less than joyful, shake it off and put on Christmas music and set up the tree and bake some sugar cookies and show to someone in this world that the first advent of Jesus coming is worth celebrating.
The world needs that light in the darkness right now.