Advent Devotional December 13: Written by Wanda Jackson in 1988

Luke 2:10 

A few years ago, at a family gathering, someone dragged out the old videos of Christmases past. At first there were giggles and grins at how young everyone looked, how much they had changed, and how pretty everything looked in our house...especially the Christmas tree. 

Each year there were slight changes in the tree’s theme, but everyone seemed to remember just what happened that year. We had trees with bows on each branch, ones with birds, crocheted ornaments, icicles (plastic!), teddy bears, and on and on. Each of our children and grandchildren would strain to see their favorite ornament (most often it was one made by very small kindergarten hands). 

Some would always notice that the manger scene was in its usual place...and again all would recall the story of the Christmas morning when we awoke and came downstairs to find “Snoopy” by the manger, keeping watch over the baby Jesus. We all loved the long, felt streamers on the door facings that were covered with Christmas cards, the Santa whose eyes lit up as he rang a small bell, and the reindeer bells on the back door. We would almost smell the cookies baking!

As we watched those tapes, we suddenly noticed that at the beginning of each, Andy would begin by saying: “This is the way we like for our house to be at Christmas”... and we began to think about that. The kids could remember which year it was their turn to read the Christmas story in Luke, or to pray the Christmas prayer. Andy and I, of course, remembered the year Nancy, at age five, “pruned” the Christmas tree with my new clippers...or the years earlier when we had three or four toddlers and we decided the safest place for the tree was in the playpen!

No matter what we talked about, though, we seemed to return to our wonderful manger scene that Grandmother Ragland had made for us and to the reading of the Christmas story. What special memories we had!

For the last few years, Andy and I have gone to our children’s houses to celebrate Christmas. I must admit that I’ve gotten a bit lazy about putting up “all that Christmas stuff.” Last year was an especially hard year for us and I didn’t get any decorations up at all. However, we found out that it didn’t really matter, because we’ll always have all those mental pictures of our children laughing, loving, and reading God’s word together. Christmas time will forever bind our hearts in love!

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