| Your favorite Christmas memory|
+++ Before we begin... if you don't celebrate Christmas, thats cool. But I do ask that you let those of us who do enjoy a time of sharing our favorite Christmas memories without sparking up controversy. It's just a request, I can't force you to refrain... I'm just asking nicely. :-) +++
Now, with that out of the way... would anyone care to share their favorite Christmas memory? (I'll share when I have more time to write)
I'm sure Ginny will have a heart warming story or two!
| 2008/12/17 10:59|
| Re: Your favorite Christmas memory|
OK... I'll get the ball rolling. I hope that perhaps if some of you don't have good Christmas memories, perhaps sharing in mine might bring some joy to your heart.
I have a lot of Christmas memories from when I was a kid. Not growing up in a serious Christian home (we considered ourselves Christians, as do most southerners... but we weren't), we did do Santa and all that stuff. It was also the one time of the year we all went to church.
But I remember going to my grandparents, one set on Christmas Eve, and the other on Christmas day. I remember my grandparents had Bing Crosby on the stereo crooning carols, presents for all of us kids, grandma's Christmas cookies, and the smell of grandpa's pipe... all of that stuff brings back warm memories for me. Especially now that all my grandparents are gone. I love to look at pictures of those Christmas's.
My all time favorite Christmas memory tho is the Christmas right after I got saved. My sweet and beautiful wife and I lived within walking distance of the church we attended back then. On Christmas Eve the pastor would have the church doors unlocked and he would serve communion to anyone in the church who wanted to take communion on Christmas Eve. You just show up whenever you wanted to, and if someone else was at the alter taking communion you would just take a seat and wait your turn. Whole families would go up, couples, singles, whatever your situation.
What a love for God's people that pastor had... serving communion to us and taking that time away from his own wife and kids. But they supported him in it.
So we walked in around 9pm and I think there was maybe 2 families there. We waited and then went to the alter when it was our turn. The place was lit only by candles. I remember taking my wife's little hand in mine and kneeling at the alter with her. The pastor did the normal communion things... served the cracker, read scripture, served the juice, read scripture. And I noticed my wife crying.
See she had gotten saved before me. We both lived very sinful lives when we met. We lived together and then got married. Just after I came back from Desert Storm she got saved. She had been attending this church while I was gone. While I loved her tremendously, I ridiculed her faith and critisized the church at every change I had. But after much prayer on her part (and long suffering), and the influence and witness of several others, I finally surrendered to the Lord.
I just kinda looked at her wiping back tears. She said "This time last year I was here by myself. I prayed that this year you would be here beside me... and you are. Thats' the best Christmas present I could ever hope for."
That was in Knoxville, TN. We've since moved back to my hometown in North Carolina. (She is from Georgia) We house church now with other families, so we don't do the Christmas Eve communion like we used to. But we do have communion together with the kids every year, and it is a blessing to see how God has grown our little family from just her and myself (2 selfish sinful people when we met) to there being 6 of us serving Him together.
| 2008/12/17 13:15|
| Re: |
Krispy, you do know how to egg one on, don't you! But before I begin, I will have to say your story is precious, like the southerners say...I love it!
Christmas has always meant a lot to me from as far back as I remember and am now 61 years old - no big feat, just a fact of life.
Come Christmas our extended families of grandparents, and all their descendants met for a meal, and gifts' exchange. There was always plenty of candy. One dessert my grandmother made that was so good was tapioca pudding. And another memory I treasure is of grandma sitting in the living room with a large dishpan with red delicious apples and peeling them for anyone who wanted a slice. As the afternoon wore on we children would go outside to play 'fox and geese' in the snow.
This is a glimpse of the precious heritage that is mine pertaining to Christmas. And so the tradition of families getting together, sharing gifts has been passed on to the succeeding generations.
Now for a real special story - I have said this before and I suppose this is what Krispy wants me to share?
Christmas always meant family get-together where gifts where shared, delicious food prepared by all the women, and lots of fun and laughter. The guys will even buy lots of fireworks and shoot them off after dark (a southern tradition, BTW). Everyone enjoyed these fireworks except Mom. But this one year, I was in no festive mood: Regina is no longer with us and I grieved, knowing it will never again happen. In fact I was depressed; I missed Gina (I used to call her Ginnyrose sometimes because her name was Regina Rose). She was a lot of fun and everyone loved her.
It was after dinner, we had all gathered around in the large living room to distribute the gifts. I was sitting on the floor next to the pile of gifts because all the seats were full and I am comfortable sitting cross legged. Gifts were passed out and opened. Then my sister Helen gave me a package wrapped in plain white, glossy paper. It looked a little odd but she gave it to me and said this is for you. All eyes were on me as I unwrapped this package. There in that box were a stack of embroidered quilt blocks, all done for me by friends and kinfolks. I looked at this stack of quilt blocks and asked "is this for me?" Helen said "yes". Wow!
(Now let me explain what this gift is: you give a person a blank fabric square and ask her to embroider something on it and then these blocks are collected and sewn together with sashing and then quilted. It is called a friendship quilt. All are original - no two alike. And they are beautiful.)
Helen told me Regina (our daughter) had started this project for our 25th wedding anniversary but never finished it because she got sick and then died on Jan. 14, 1996. So after she died her mother-in-law was going through her things and found this uncompleted project and gave it to my sister and told her to finish it. Now here we are and I have this stack of embroidered quilt blocks that I had to sew together to make a quilt.
A few days later I was going through this box of blocks, admiring each one, feeling so humbled that ALL these people took so much of their personal time to embroider a block just [i]for me![/i] And then something happened, it was so precious...I felt a divine love come over me, it started at my head and flowed through my whole body. I felt so loved and I knew this came from God. It was an affirmation to me that even though He took our only daughter he still loved me! And I have never questioned his taking her from us since then.
Now, ain't God good?!!
Have a blessed Holy Day come December 25!
ginnyrose aka Sandra
| 2008/12/17 20:30||Profile|
| Re: More Memories|
Just a few more memories - nothing awesome, perhaps, but it is the small routine things that now in hindsight provides one with blessed memories.
Since I was fourteen years old, I have gone Christmas Caroling. This was always fun as a teen and I never did lose my sense of delight in participating.
In the 60s our youth group always went caroling. Since we were all farm kids, someone had a dad who owned a bob-truck. This truck bed was covered with tarp, and hay bales were placed around the perimeter of the bed. A small light was placed in the corner. It was into this truck bed we climbed and is how we were transported from place to place. It was fun, even if it was cold. Youth today would find this mode of transportation very primitive and amusing. Some of the mystique is lost in traveling in warm vehicles.
At school, there were always the Christmas programs with a lot of memorizing and this was good for us. One thing so very meaningful for this little girl was to hear the "Hallelujah Chorus" being sung by the high school choir. I fell in love with that music then and never have lost my sense of awe of its beauty.
One year I learned how to [i]not[/i] give a gift. In school we would exchange names and then you would give this person a gift at the Christmas party. Well, when I was in the third grade one of the fourth grade boys got a huge pile of gaily wrapped gifts. He was so full of pleasure and delight in seeing all these gifts he fairly danced in his seat in anticipation of opening these gifts. Why, he had more then anyone - he must have been very popular! or so he felt and those of us looking on thought so. But you know what? All but one or two of these gifts were gag gifts - one had a brick, if I recall...He took this all in good humor - laughed about it, but I was shocked that anyone would be so mean. It appeared that this was planned by his fellow classmates.
Today, our church group still goes Christmas caroling - everyone who can walk goes. And we travel in [i]warm[/i] vehicles. After singing, we would give them gifts of food like a fruit plate. We have in the past participated in other programs were gifts were given to inmates' children. This was halted when their response was one of disgust, rejection of gifts shared. (They were expecting expensive gifts!) Last year our church made gift bags for inmates at a state penitentiary.
As a church we try to spread cheer to folks in our community, especially to the old and those who are house-bound. It truly is a blessed time when we can remind our neighbors that Jesus is the reason for the season and not Santa Claus.
| 2008/12/17 23:01||Profile|
| Re: |
I type this with tears rolling down my face from both of your stories. Thank you so much for sharing them! What a blessing to have such memories. =0)
None of my memories come even remotely close to either of those. I was going to say my best memories were those when my dad wasn't home and it was just my mom and myself at home decorating the tree, singing Christmas carols and me dancing around the living room with garland flowing around my neck. I didn't grow up in a Christian home and so Christmas always just meant "how many gifts will I get this year". I've only been a Christian for about 3 years and now this time of year has a totally different feel for me. Even though I cherish the dancing and singing in the living room with mom, Christmas now has meaning and comes with a hope that my life never had before.
Thank You Jesus! =0)
| 2008/12/18 1:18||Profile|
| Re: |
As I reflected upon my memories of "Christmas" I became depressed because I could not come up with a "happy" one. My parents divorced when I was in kindergarten so all of my "Christmas" holidays were pretty much a war zone.
When I brought this before the Lord, He blessed me greatly with memories of coming unto Him. How the blueness of the sky filled my heart. Of His breath upon the grass - wave after wave rolling forth bringing great delight to my soul. Of walking along the river with my old dog while listening to His Word. Of His beautiful light shining through the trees, reflecting off of this surface, and that surface, searching for my face. Hour after hour of meditating upon Him - throwing aside anything, and everything, that got in the way. Oh yes, Christmas indelibly etched upon my heart. My blessed Saviour coming to wash away all of the pain and sorrow of my past, and then filling me with His Love.
Oh, the everlasting Beauty of my Lord.
| 2008/12/18 1:49||Profile|
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Oh yes, Christmas indelibly etched upon my heart. My blessed Saviour coming to wash away all of the pain and sorrow of my past, and then filling me with His Love.
Oh, the everlasting Beauty of my Lord.
| 2008/12/18 2:01||Profile|
| Re: |
Like many, I was not brought up in a Christian home.
I remember being about 11 years old, and there was a good supply of alcohol in the home that Christmas.
It was the time of year when we could eat what we like without asking our parents, we could just help ourselves.
And there was alcohol there also.
I decided to try some.
I got a glass, and a bottle, poured it, and stood by the sink to drink it. I stood by the sink, because, if I didn't like it, I could just spit it out.
Well, the sink came in handy, real handy. I had only picked up a bottle of whisky, and it was the most vile thing I had ever tasted.
Needless to say, my whisky drinking days were over.
| 2008/12/18 6:35||Profile|
| Re: |
The guys will even buy lots of fireworks and shoot them off after dark (a southern tradition, BTW).
We did fireworks a couple times on Christmas Eve as a kid. I had forgotten about that!
Another southern tradition is shooting off guns at the stroke of midnight on New Years Eve. It's funny because we go out on the back deck and shoot... and the valley below sounds like a war zone! Everyone all up the valley and the hills are outside poppin' off ammunition. lol... pretty cool.
| 2008/12/18 8:19|
| Re: |
Needless to say, my whisky drinking days were over.
I wish I could say that my whiskey drinking days were over at 11, but unfortunately Jack Daniels become a best friend of mine for a good many years. You didnt miss anything, let me tell ya.
I am always saddened when I read of Christmas memories that were not good. I was blessed to grow up in a home that, altho not Christian, was filled with love. We had our dysfunction, be sure of that. But for the most part things were good.
This is why I started this thread. It's for some of us to reminisce (did I spell that right?), and for others who dont have good memories to share in ours. Kinda my way of inviting you into our homes and families... sharing a little Christmas cheer with you. Putting my arms around you all and giving you a big Krispy bear hug.
The beauty of it all is this... no matter what your situation was when you were a child, your life has changed since meeting Christ. Kinda like the shepherds that night. They were in the fields... tending the sheep. Today we would call them "cowboys". Imagine a group of cowboys out on a cattle drive in the old west. If you've seen "Open Range" (the best western movie in decades, in my opinion) you can get a feel for it.
Suddenly... an angelic choir appears in the sky! Imagine the dusty trail weary cowboys sitting around the campfire and being shocked by this sight above them! I can imagine a couple of them pulling out their 6-shooters. An angel comes near to them and says "Fear Not! I bring good tidings!"
Their lives were never the same. This can be said of you the day you met the Lord. They went to the stable and saw the baby King. But in your case the King came to you!
You can rejoice!
| 2008/12/18 8:34|