by CharlesRobey
(Trussville, AL USA)

"Thus says the LORD: “Let not the wise man boast in his wisdom, let not the mighty man boast in his might, let not the rich man boast in his riches, but let him who boasts boast in this, that he understands and knows me, that I am the LORD who practices steadfast love, justice, and righteousness in the earth. For in these things I delight, declares the LORD.”(Jeremiah 9:23-24)

Christmas Season, what a magical captivating time of the year, with hustle and bustle everywhere, from Mom's homemade goodies to those hidden paraphernalia well-known for their generic name of "Christmas Gifts.” If only this time of our lives could last forever, or at least all the year.

Yes, Christmas Season, a time to reflect back on the past, a time to evaluate the present, and a time to look forward to the future.

Well, I'm sure we all have many distinct memories of Christmas, many pleasing and maybe some not so cheery. For me, I have a mixture of many good quality memories; memories of my childhood, of my family and kids, my friends, my church activities, etc. I have many blessings for which to be thankful.

It seems, however, certain ill-fated memories oftentimes tend to plague our minds during the Christmas Holiday Season, which tend to lower our joy level.

Our family experienced such an unfortunate memory. Shortly after Christmas a few years ago, we lost our little, old, retired preacher Daddy, as he was called home to be with his Lord. Just after Christmas, Dad accidentally fell, as he had left his car and was about to enter a fast food restaurant. He succumbed to the injury a few days later, never regaining consciousness.

When we took over his vehicle on the night of the accident, we noticed he had apparently been grocery shopping, based on the grocery items in the vehicle.

Shortly after Dad's leaving us, we were at his home straightening up when we happened to notice what was left of his effort at wrapping his Christmas presents. There were remnants of Christmas wrapping, ribbons, and the like, strewed all over his dining room table.

Due to Dad's age he was rather fumble-fingered, making the task of wrapping Christmas gifts more challenging. Knowing this handicap is what touched our hearts. Foy you see, up until this his last Christmas, Dad would just place money in a Christmas card, but this particular year he wanted to do something special for the family.

Oftentimes, it's those little things in life that give us the most pleasure. I just can't help but feel it was the case with Dad's last Christmas, with him wrapping all those family gifts. If we had only known.

Let me back up and reminisce briefly back to the past. What had made Dad's life so sad was the fact that we had lost Mom about two years earlier, and Dad never had gotten over this period in his life.

Well, time has come and gone and we are now here in another Christmas season. Thank you for allowing and understanding this brief interlude in our life. Yes, life does go on. Hopefully, we all have our pleasant Christmas memories to over-shadow those not so satisfying.

And if you are blessed to still have your parents with you this joyous Christmas season, just simply give then a big hug, and whisper words of love.

Author's Postscript

I love Christmas. I always have. It’s one of my favorite times of year, and not just because of the perks of homemade fudge and gifts. Even Scrooges and Grinches get a little jollier at Christmastime, right?

We put “Peace, Love and Joy” on our Christmas cards. We sing, “Joy to the World.” Yes, it seems that Christmas and joy go hand-in-hand. However, as the old cliché relates, it's that main "Reason for the Season.” That magic in the air of celebrating the birth of the "Christ Child.” (Luke Second Chapter)

Ephesians 1:4-5 tells us: “Even before He made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in His eyes. God decided in advance to adopt us into His own family by bringing us to Himself through Jesus Christ. This is what He wanted to do, and it gave Him great pleasure.”

Although our family lost Dad shortly after Christmas that year, we know He is now with Mom, both celebrating our blessed Lord’s birth in "Glory Land." For that we now give praise. Praise that overshadows any reasonable practicality of this earth’s Holiday season!

Yes, Christmas Season is a time of new beginnings. As Christians, we celebrate the birth of Jesus, which signifies a new beginning for all of us, right? So, let us pray:

Father, I know that Your joy is the source of my strength, so I am asking You to instill Your joy into me, during this Christmas season, so that I might share it with others who might also need a joy boost this season. And, Father, help me to experience You more fully in the coming year, to live the love more freely, and to forget the past and forgive others by faith. I love You, Lord. In the Mighty Name of Your Son Jesus, Amen.

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