During the Christmas season, many things give us warm feelings—Currier and Ives and Norman Rockwell paintings; commercials of big horses pulling a sleigh through the snow with a couple bundled together having a great time; classic Christmas movies; and music that transcends generations. Christmas can have a magical feel to it. The problem is that most of us don’t get the fantasy Christmas every year. Some of us never get it.
As I look back over forty-plus Christmases with Nancy, I am not sure if one ever fit that template. In the early years of our marriage, I did everything I could think of to give her that special Christmas. I shopped for the perfect gift, decorated the house with lights, and on and on. I had my checklist and usually completed everything on it. I worked hard at making Christmas special.
But what I’ve remembered and cherished from Christmases with Nancy has nothing to do with completing a checklist. Instead, I’ve realized that what made Christmas special was taking communion together each Christmas Eve and focusing on the real meaning of what we were celebrating. It was the scrawny little Christmas tree in our apartment that first Christmas we were married. It had a little nativity scene around the bottom, and we sat silently watching the twinkling lights and were overwhelmed with joy.
Somewhere along the line, God taught us that Christmas was about celebrating Him and about rejoicing in that together. He taught us that celebrating the reality was far better than any fantasy we could ever dream of. What about you? What are you celebrating this year? Merry Christmas!