Tuesday, December 23, 2008

what christmas means to me

What Christmas means to me.

The memories of childhood Christmases fill my mind, as I watch my own children and hope their memories are as sweet as mine. My first memory is of my mom locked in her room. What was she doing in there? Finishing up those last minute wrappings and sewing the final seams of a doll. The next memorable Christmas is also my favorite. I received a pink ruffled parasol I had been coveting and a large stack of books.

Christmas is filled with these memories. Memories of family. Finding the perfect gift for the family member whose name I had drawn. I got my mom three years in a row. Sleeping with my sisters and waking up at three. Opening our stockings while waiting for our parents to wake. My dad's ho ho ho as he came down the stairs. Memories of Christmas lamps - a story for another time - and snowmen.

We never forgot what the real meaning of Christmas was though. Every Christmas eve we would sing carols and read the Christmas story from the book of Luke. Then we were trundled off to bed after leaving cookies and milk for Santa.

Now I am building new Christmas memories and traditions with my children. Our memories will be full of warm tropical picnics on the beach. Santa in his speedo. Hotel Christmases. Chinese ornaments. But we will carry on our own Christmas eve telling of the Christ's birth. We will sing our carols and remember Christmas is not the gifts or the lights, but the celebration of the Saviour's love for us.