Skip to main content

Christmas is in the Heart

My Christmas morning didn't always begin with, "Happy Birthday, Jesus!" We all have memories of some kind at Christmas. Many have sang, "Happy Birthday, Jesus", since they can remember. For some of us, Jesus wasn't the, "Reason for the Season." It was a time of joy, but a different joy than what my heart holds today.

Growing up I remember running to the tree on Christmas morning. I was singing, "Jingle Bells", and "Frosty the Snowman". I can see the decorations my mom placed throughout the house with tender care. I can even remember sitting out cookies and milk for Santa, but nothing for Jesus. It was all about the presents and snow and yes, the parades on television. I LOVED watching them as my mom was busy in the kitchen.

I do have to say, by Christmas morning most of our presents were already opened. My dad and I opened ours most years way before Christmas morn. He loved this time of year. I think he loved unwrapping gifts just as much as me. He would say, "Rob, if you wanna open a gift you can." He knew that always followed with, "Sure dad, you can too!" All the while my mom was shaking her head.

I remember that last Christmas with my dad. I had worked really hard. It was actually my first year of styling hair and he was so very proud of that. I saved and saved and purchased him a gold watch. That year he too did his own Christmas shopping and I received a gold heart pendant necklace from him. One of the best Christmas memories I hold dear.

I can look back today and I could ponder the thought that Jesus was absent from our Christmas celebration, but was He really? Jesus is love and my home with my parents was filled with love. Although I didn't hear the Christmas story of Christ's birth, His love was still very alive and present. He is in ALL goodness! It is that very goodness that lead me straight to Him.

Although those years hold very special memories for me, the best Christmas ever was the Christmas I realized it was all about Jesus. After meeting my now husband, every Christmas we have shared together has been about our Savior. Sure, we have our tree up and presents under the tree, but Santa wasn't present in our home, except for cartoons the children enjoyed. Our children knew it wasn't about gifts under the tree at all, but about the birth of our Savior. God's precious gift to us. We wanted our children to experience the real joys of Christmas. 

It was as though once I was filled with this Christmas joy, well, Christmas was never the same. It was better. It now held perfect meaning. No matter if there was a gift under the tree with my name on it or if there were ten, I held a new joy in my heart. Every gift was now given in celebration of Him. Every card was sent to share His message of love.

We celebrated Christmas yesterday with our children. It has been a long time since most of our family has been together for Christmas. It is so wonderful to have a grandchild in the home for Christmas. Our home was filled with laughter. Delicious foods covered our table as my husband readied to pray. After all our children left and went about their day my hubs and I went for a drive. We were actually going to care for a friends pet as they were off with family. We saw eight deer on the drive home. We enjoyed sweet conversation. That evening we enjoyed a few scoops of ice cream to end our perfect day.

Our Christmas mornings are a bit different now as the years have passed. No more children running to the tree to rip and tear, shouts of joy and laughter before the sun rises. Those years have passed and although I miss them, they are held in a special place within my heart to look back on with great joy. Now they are a little quieter. We wake a little later and sip our coffee together as the news plays before us. Our children are all grown and gather with family and friends as they try to make room to visit everyone. This year my husband had to leave on Christmas morning to head for Pennsylvania. Someone has to make sure that mail arrives for those loved ones waiting patiently. So our son and I will make today a special day together. We may even take in a movie this afternoon. Whatever we do today it will be special.  

See, it really doesn't matter what day you celebrate Christmas. Christmas is alive and well in your heart. The Spirit of Christmas is here with us always. Christ the Savior. As I woke this morning, He was my first thought. My first quiet words were, "Happy Birthday, Jesus, Happy Birthday to You." As each of us woke, it was then, "Good Morning, Merry Christmas!"

Most of us have holes in our hearts as we miss those who are no longer with us. But there are bright glimmers of hope that shine through as we look back with memories of love and laughter. Our mornings are a little different than they were twenty years ago with little ones running everywhere. Today as you celebrate Jesus, those people we love are not so far away. They are only one thought away. One prayer away. I can close my eyes and go back home, sitting before the tree with my parents. I can go back in time, looking at pictures that captured the glow in our children's eyes on Christmas morn. Pick up that phone and give those a call you haven't talked to in years. Make today a day to remember always. No matter what you do or where you are, you can celebrate today with the love of Christ.

Merry Christmas, friends! Happy Birthday, Jesus!

Comments

Helen Tisdale said…
I ran up on your old posts re. journal & to do lists. Both just ministered to me today! Also one today re. Christmas different this year. You simply spoke into my life! Thankyou for your gift shared!
Robin Prater said…
Helen, praise the Lord!! All I can say is, Amen. God is so good. I praise the Lord that you were blessed. You too have blessed my heart by sharing with me. I love when my readers share with me. Blessings to you!!

Popular posts from this blog

The One True Love of Alice-Ann by Eva Marie Everson

Oh, just where do I begin? This is the stuff in which great novels are made. I made my way through this richly beautiful novel turning page after page with such deep emotion and thought. I couldn't turn the pages quick enough, but I didn't want it to end to soon. It's one of those novels you could continue reading as long as there were pages. No page just made of fluff, words with no meaning on the page. Every single line in this novel created a story that will last in my heart forever. 
Ms. Everson, I am so happy stories of the war were shared with you. Oh, to have your Sunday school teacher share with you, "You can't choose who you fall in love with, but you can choose who you marry", is a blessing that has now enchanted your readers. What a story you have weaved together. History penned with such depth, detail, and a story that captures the heart. 
This lovely story begins in 1941. The war has started. Picture a family gathered around the Zenith to hear t…

The" I Am" Makes Us Think About What "i am"

In Genesis 1:26-27 it shares something valuable to each of us about who we are in God. We are created in His image. What I love about this verse below is that is says, "make man in OUR image". What's OUR? The trinity, God, the Holy Spirit, and Christ Jesus. Ponder that. I mean really go deep. We are make in THEIR image. 
"Then God said, "Let US make man in OUR image, according to OUR likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth. So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him, male and female He created them."
We are His workmanship. He knew us before we were ever born. He weaved us together within the womb, but even before then He planned our life perfectly for us. That's so much to ponder isn't it? 
"For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared…

The Glassblower by Petra Durst-Benning

I came across this selection on Amazon. I had seen so many reviews that it intrigued me. I had never read anything from this German author. The cover caught my attention as did the description of this novel. 
It's a part of a trilogy. I am getting ready to open up book 2, The American Lady. I cannot wait to begin. I tell you this book marveled me. I wasn't quite sure what to expect. What a journey into another time and place. 
We travel to Germany where this novel is set. The year is 1890 and we find ourselves in Lauscha, Germany. The author did a fantastic job at the perfect description of not only the area, but circumstance, and heart of the characters. Her writing style flows so easily that the pages almost turn themselves. 
The characters are easy to love. Three sisters who are now wondering, after their father had passed from this earth,  how they will now provide for themselves. It isn't going to be easy, but these sisters show us how to prevail over challenges that…

Unexpected Blessings

The last words my dad spoke to me from his hospital bed were, "Rob, take care of your mom." Those are words I have never forgotten. I have not only honored them for my dad, but for my mom. I too am commanded by my Father to honor my mother and father.
"Honor your father and mother so that you may have a long life in the land that the Lord your God is giving you." Exodus 20:12
My mom gave her life in caring for me. On my first birthday, my very first Christmas, was spent in the ICU as I was very sick with pneumonia. A little later I would burn myself with spilled coffee. A few years later I would tumble down many stairs and once again spent time in the hospital. 
I remember all the times I was sick and could feel my mom's hand brush against my forehead as she checked for fever. All the times she must have stayed up all night as I was sick. 
When I was little she would pour me a bowl of Raisin Bran. I loved it. Only I didn't like the raisins. She would take t…

Of Stillness and Storm by Michele Phoenix

This is my first novel read by Michele Phoenix. I love the premise of this novel and all that she opened my eyes to. We always hear of the 'calling' by missionaries. We want to go where God calls us. We want to make a difference. 
To be called by God isn't the same for every soul. We all fit differently into His plan. Our walk with Him isn't ALL we do for His name, but our relationship with Him, our intimate journey with our Savior. 
This novel is raw and transparent. For me, it was the journey of Lauren. We see that her husband feels called to work in Nepal and with the people, but we really don't read about much of his personal journey. 
Their son, Ryan, is struggling. We can see through the conversations he has with his parents that he is truly unhappy. We see the fall, but we don't really get a close glimpse into his heart. 
It is with Lauren that we journey. She feels alone and lost. Through her words we can 'feel' the pain in her heart. She is br…