A lone candle casts its soft light over pine cones nestled in Christmas greenery. Fragrant pine needles trigger memories of previous searches for the perfect tree to adorn with ornaments and lights. As I unpack the tree ornaments I also pull out memories of past Christmases.
I remember the huge box under the Christmas tree when I was six. My big sister convinced me that it held 5 or 6 presents. It held only one gift, but I was not disappointed. It was one of the prettiest dolls I ever received.
I remember my first Christmas away from home. That was a hard one. The song lyrics, “I’ll be home for Christmas” made me cry.
I remember the first Christmas with our 2 month old son, our first child. Holding this precious baby boy, I felt a sense of awe that Jesus Christ would come to earth as a helpless baby in order to fulfill God’s plan to bring salvation to man.
I remember our daughter being afraid of a stranger (i.e. Santa Claus) coming in to leave presents when we were all asleep. So, we made special arrangements for his visit to take place while the four of us went to look at Christmas lights.
I remember the year my Mother (who will be 90 in February) told our then elementary age son and daughter, that one Christmas during the Depression, all she got for Christmas was an orange.
I remember the only Christmas I saw snow on Christmas Day. I went outside and sang “I am dreaming of a white Christmas” as loud as I could.
I remember very few of the gifts I received. What sticks with me are the memories of being with people I love. That is always the very best gift for me.