Christmas Memories

Memories of Christmases past are like presents under the tree.  Arriving in all shapes and sizes, some grab our attention and overshadow the thoughts of the season, while others are small and hidden away.

Christmas memories which dominate the season tend to be either the warm and fuzzy type or the ones that are as dark as coal. The precious memories contain thoughts like Grandmother, baking cookies, and fireplaces with stockings pinned to the mantles. The sad memories center around things like drunkenness, abuse, loneliness, arguments, and disappointment.

Every year we sort through the attic of Christmas memories, which like good gifts, keep on giving. For some, the attic is more like a haunted house. For others, it is a storehouse of treasures. Most of those memories, especially the ones from childhood, were not purchased by us, but they were passed on and now we are stuck with them.  Good or bad. Like it or not.

The years pass quickly and as our pile of discarded Christmas trees grows, we find we become the memory givers. As the parents and grandparents, aunts and uncles, and neighbors and friends, it is our chance to dole out the memories to those coming behind us and sitting on our shoulders.

So, we plan carefully because we know those memories can last a long time, probably long after we are gone, and we want our children’s memories to be special and different. But then the holidays come and go, and it seems all we do is pass out the same hand-me-down memories that we were saddled with. The hopeless cycle continues.

For those who want this year to be different, try stopping long enough to listen to the words of some of the old Christmas carols. You will hear the amazing message how the little baby in a manger is truly the eternal God and Savior of the world.

Christ came for people with scarred memories and hopeless futures. Anyone who knows Christ as their Savior can experience the true joy of Christmas – the celebration of His birth!

While we cannot erase bad memories, they can be exchanged and replaced by putting our hope in Christ and focusing on the true reason for the season.