We all have precious memories of special things or of events that have taken place in our lives. Christmas is a good time to remember past family gatherings and to create new traditions for our children and grandchildren.
Many times we hear friends say, “My family always does so and so at Christmas.” Does your family have a favorite tradition? If not, why not start your own this year? Give it some thought and ask your family what they would like to do. You might be pleasantly surprised at their ideas and enthusiasm.
The best Christmas traditions are those that are enjoyable, express our love for one another, and give praise to the Lord Jesus Christ on His birthday. My family enjoys such a tradition. After dinner on Christmas Eve, we all gather close to the Christmas tree in the den – children on the floor, adults wherever they can find a seat. One of the men reads the Scripture of his choice. After the Scripture reading, each person receives a candle. As the Lord leads, one person lights his or her candle and gives a testimony. At the end of each testimony, the person who gave the testimony lights another family member’s candle. It takes time, but our hearts are touched as our loved ones express their love for one another and praise the Lord for so many blessings received throughout the past year. What a wonderful time of testimony for young children to witness and remember! Precious memories linger as we continue this tradition each year. We hope all our grandchildren will continue this tradition with their own families someday. After the testimonies, the unopened presents under the tree bring us to another special family time: a time to give and a time to receive.
I’ll never forget my most cherished and beautiful Christmas present. It was almost Christmas. My husband, Jim, was busy and excited about making a small table with chairs and a toy chest for our two young grandsons. Before he came home that afternoon, he picked up a block of unfinished wood from the workshop floor and wrote a note in pencil to me. It read:
You are my reason to live.
All I own I would give
Just to have you adore me.
Till the rivers flow up stream,
Till the oceans dry up,
Till the sun fades,
I will always adore you.
Jim is with the Lord this Christmas, but the precious memories linger on – especially as I hold my beautiful block of wood and read his message of love written just for me.
Precious memories, how they linger, how they ever flood my soul; In the stillness of the midnight, precious, sacred scenes unfold.
Jesus said, “Love one another.” Always remember to tell your family, “I love you,” and you too will have fond memories of old home scenes as the sacred past unfolds.
Written by Nan Harris. This article was published in the Winter 2006 edition of The Beautiful Spirit magazine.
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