I remember the dozens of red apple-ornaments my mother decorated our tree with . . . and three small circa-1963 plastic reindeer with gold glitter . . . Which glitter -- by the time I was ten- or eleven-years-old -- had been completely rubbed off by little hands playing-out the "Rudolph" story. My mom still puts out these dear old reindeer every year.
For each year of our marriage, my husband and I either make or purchase a new ornament that somehow reflects or symbolizes the past year for us. Sometimes it’s serious, like an open Bible representing Mark's call to a new church and the opportunity to share God’s Word -- Or a small carpenter’s tool-box to remind us of the year the church re-built after an arson fire. Sometimes it’s silly, like a fish to remind us of all the fish we (wished we’d) caught on our family fishing outings. Each year when we decorate the tree, we have a wonderful time of remembering the precious moments from our past together.
“. . . remembering the words of the Lord Jesus himself said: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’”
And . . . this one’s especially contemporary since I grew up in Indiana where we rarely had a white Christmas. Ya' need SNOW for Snow Ice Cream:
4 cups freshly fallen clean snow
½ cup milk
2 Tbsp sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
Mix milk, sugar and vanilla together as children collect the snow. Blend milk mixture with the snow and eat immediately with chocolate chips! We live in MINNESOTA now. . . Snow? Yea, we got that!
Sometimes as adults, Christmas loses the magic it once found in our hearts as children. Being the adult now charged with full control of the decorating and the shopping and the planning and the baking and the card sending and et.al. . . . sort of shrinks the magic and depletes the fun.
We have a tendency to get all philosophical about things and in a sense we figure we can overlook the joy that we should be experiencing and say we celebrate Christmas everyday, because we are continually grateful for JESUS CHRIST who came to deliver us from sorrow and sin and death. On that First Original Christmas Morning, Eternal LIFE was born in a stable! (And - DUH!) Of course. . .
BUT. . . As parent, it is our awesome responsibility to inaugurate the magic of traditions in our young families. For me -- having married late in life -- I’m just getting into the swing of this traditions-making-thing, and only in the last few years have we established some special Goossen Christmas traditions. To watch my own children admire and experience the "magic" brings it back to my own heart. . . .
After all . . . the best memories go back to our childhood. . . . [Excuse me.]
Kid: "You're wearing the apron."
I gotta' go!
© 2008 The Heart of a Pastor's Wife
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