When you grow old and your eyes are dim and your joints ache and you can no longer get up and go as you did when you were young, two things will sustain you as life edges toward its conclusion. Can you guess? Your faith and your memories.
I never yet heard anyone on a deathbed complain about not spending more time at the office or accumulating stuff. So, how about a hard stop…right now, today.
Life is not a dress rehearsal. You cannot put a page marker in today and ever get it back again. The memories you create and harvest will warm you again every time you pull them out.
Whether you have children or not, and if you do, whether they are young wide-eyed and eager or grown with families of their own, the memories you plant in their memory-banks today will richly bless tomorrow…for both you and for them.
How will you celebrate this year? Will it be a cascade of things or a set of memories? Quick now, what did you get for Christmas gifts in 2019? I can’t remember either. But I remember gathering my children and delivering meals on wheels on Christmas Day. I remember coming with our whole family to Christmas Eve candle light services in matching pajamas…even bringing our puppy. I remember gathering with our children first to retell the Christmas story and then cook unusual memorable meals for them.
I’ll never forget the year we decided to put on a nativity story drama. We assigned parts and the players had to scatter through the house to find ‘costumes’. My 280 pound brother was tapped to play Baby Jesus…sheep wore bathrobes…kings’ crowns were sauce pans. We read the Luke Christmas story and among the laughter we blessed the name of Jesus who came for us.
One year we made Christmas cookies and packaged them in little plastic tubs and caroled our neighbors delivering cookies and wishing the merriest of Christmases in Jesus’ name.
We heard Handel’s Messiah and even sang in it a few years.
We adopted a family who has so little and brought joy to them.
The list goes on and even as I recall these, others come to mind and it brings a smile to my face.
So, here’s the question?? How will you make Jesus centered memories this year with your family? How will you remember the real reason for the season? 2023 will be gone in a few weeks…What will you and yours remember and whose lives will you bless with real Christmas memories?
If you are stuck, try some of these…remembering Jesus is the Reason for the Season:
Participate in Angel Tree giving, go Christmas caroling, visit a live nativity, take family pictures, Christmas eve candle light service, decorate gingerbread houses, go look at lights, get matching pajamas, volunteer somewhere, make Advent wreaths and tell the Advent story, read Luke 2 story of Jesus (how many things are wrong with most nativity scenes?)–I can think of at least 3, put up a Christmas creche, ugly Christmas sweater party…now it’s your turn.