On entering the house, they saw the child with Mary his mother; and they knelt down and paid him homage. Then, opening their treasure chests, they offered him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. Matthew 2:11

As we anticipate the Christmas season, I cannot help but think of the past and the people and things that made Christmas so special to me.

My first memories were of a time when the “tree” was procured from a nearby field. Some trees had the perfect shape and some did not; some had critters hiding in the branches and some did not. Our ornaments were plastic and paper and the lights were big: some blinked and some did not. The silver tinsel was placed with care on the tree; but as the process lengthened, “carefully placed” would not describe the results. 

The angel perched on the top of the tree. Sometimes she was perfectly centered, sometimes not. I remember the presents seemed to be very large, and the wrapping was newspaper or red and green paper. Some had bows and some did not.

Christmas was celebrated with sisters, aunts, uncles, and grandparents. There was conversation about the family and what had transpired during the year. The grandparents always wanted to hear what my sisters and I had been up to in the past few months. They were genuinely interested in what we had been involved with, and with our plans for the future.

As we approach this advent season, there is so much in the past that we need to remember and bring forward to our families today. Perfectly decorated houses and trees don’t need to be the rule. Designer-wrapped packages cannot compare with ones done by the children with craft paper and string. Caring conversation with loved ones can be the greatest gift given and received.

Sharing the Christmas Story should always be a part of the celebration. Mary, Joseph, Baby Jesus, angels and wise men make up the cast. The bright star replaces Google Map; the angel’s message replaces Twitter and Facebook. The gifts of the wise men—while few—were specific and carried special meaning.

This year, as you prepare to celebrate the Birth of our Savior, reflect on a time that was special for you and replicate it for your family and friends.  Just be sure to check the tree for “critters.”

Prayer: Heavenly Father, as we prepare to celebrate the birth of Your Son, help us to remember and cherish this, the greatest gift ever given. Remind us that Advent is a time of remembrance, caring for others, and sharing the Love of Christ. Simplify our lives and use us to further your kingdom on earth. Amen.

Bert Moore

About the Contributor

Bert Moore is an Elder and currently serves on the Adult Education and Discipleship Committee.