The Christmas season is in full swing, and we all know how quickly it goes. This year it seems especially fast, and as always it’s filled with activities demanding our attention. It’s easy just to mark off those days until the 25th without much time for reflection, personal or spiritual.
In an attempt to make a memory or recall one from my own past, I’ve gotten into the habit each year of squeezing in some family time to slow things down.
One year we read favorite scenes aloud from A Christmas Carol. Another season I read short stories from a collection called A Christmas Treasury of Yuletide Stories & Poems. This year we’re sharing favorite holiday memories in some quiet time around the tree, and we’ll read about Jesus’ birth from the Book of Luke in the Bible. That’s connected to one of my favorite holiday memories. When my family got together on Christmas Eve we’d gather round, read from Luke, light a candle then sing Happy Birthday to Jesus.
One thing I’ve learned about moments of connectedness. They might happen randomly, but in this digital age when a lot of our friends are mainly online, we need to be more intentional about making face-to-face connections with the people around us. Many times my husband, youngest son and I have been in the same room together but each of us have been on our own personal electronic device. We may as well have been in separate corners of the world for all of the fellowship we enjoyed during those times.
In contrast to that, every day my husband and I sit down for what we call “debriefing.” After dinner, after the dishes are done, we sit together in the quiet living room and just talk about our days. We’ve done this for years, and I can hardly describe how precious this time is to me. We get to discuss what’s on our minds, what’s happened during our day, our plans for the next. This is usually after my husband has read most of the newspaper (yes, we’re just old fashioned enough to receive one made out of real paper). So we discuss current events, too. Now that our youngest son is older he often comes into the room and we grill—ahem, I mean, discuss things—with him, too.
The holiday season is a special time of year, one that reminds us of the personal God who loved us so much He became one of us not only to pay the price for our shortcomings, but so we could trust Him to understand us in a way we can relate. We may think it’s logical for our creator to know what we’re like, since He made us. But He also knows what it’s like from personal experience. This season is ideal to remember the personal relationship that matters into eternity, one that makes face-to-face time with Him easy to remember as we hear classic carols that sing of His birth.
Let’s make sure some of our Christmas season memories this year are personal with those around us, and also with the One who made us.