From the craddle to the cross
“What comes to mind when you think about Christmas?”
“With God all things are possible.” “Best of all, Christmas means, a spirit of love; a time when the love of God, and the love of our fellow men should prevail over all hatred and bitterness; a time when our thoughts and deeds and the spirit of our lives manifest the presence of God.”—( by, George F. McDougall)
Sugar plums, gingerbread cookies, gumdrops, hot chocolate, candy canes, laughing children, kisses under the mistletoe, Christmas carols, and family gatherings. Christmas is one of the most beautiful times of the year. A warm cozy home filled with the laughter and the love of children. Houses adorned with lights and garland. Christmas carolers singing hymns and bringing joy to families all across town. The mall is filled with shoppers, all trying to get the best deal on the latest trends and hottest toys. Lines, a mile long, of children waiting to sit on Santa’s lap to whisper their Christmas wish in his ear. Do you think about Christmas lights hung on the Christmas tree, topped with a bright shining star? What comes to your mind when you think about Christmas? Do you think about family gatherings with a table full of food and a heart full of love? What about tiny feet running through the house asking if Santa has come? Do you think about Jesus being born in a lonely manger wrapped in swaddling clothes?
Christmas time should be a time of thankfulness, love, joy, and celebrating the birth of our savior Jesus Christ.
Christmas has become so materialized over the years. Christmas isn’t a merry time for everyone, for some, it is the hardest time of the year. Many people feel the stress from the financial pressure involved with the Christmas season. They want to make sure that they are the one that gives the best gift with the most expensive price tag, along with trying to pay their normal day to day bills. Also, there is the stress of trying to keep your family warm. Then there is the shoveling the snow, breaking the ice, and trying to get to work on time. Due to some families financial situation, it makes it increasingly difficult for them to give gifts at Christmas. In turn, it has made some hate the thought of Christmas time. Many people say that it is the saddest time of the year for them because they are missing someone they loved very much.
For me, this is an especially hard year, my Dad passed away this past February 4, 2018. I am 30 years old and he has been my best friend, one of the best parts of my every day. Each and every day is hard without him. Christmas will be extra hard, because he always wanted to make sure that everyone had the best Christmas. That does not mean, buying the best, or the most gifts. He made sure that each and every one of us knew, we were loved and special. He was the Daddy every little girl dreams of. I thank Jesus each and every day for the time I was blessed to have with my Daddy. Even though my heart is broken thinking about spending Christmas without my Daddy, I could not think of a better way for him to spend Christmas than with Jesus himself. But when I sit and think about Christmas, I think of time spent with loved ones, and gatherings with friends. I think of my beautiful children laughing and smiling as we decorate the tree and read Christmas stories. I think about all of the beautiful Christmas services I have been to over the years. The Christmas parties at my great grandmothers house with all the yummy food and warm hugs. I remember all of us loading up in the car and driving around looking at the beautiful Christmas lights. Even though I may not remember the gifts given to me as a child, I do remember the time spent with my family.
When owner, Diane Mowen was asked, What comes to her mind when you think about Christmas ? This is what she said.
“The question was asked, “What do I think of when you think of Christmas”?
As a child, we all think about lights, Santa, and the gifts that he brings. The time spent with family and friends; playing, laughing and all the wonderful foods that are prepared during the holiday season. I remember going to church and reading the Christmas story. Thinking of the baby Jesus wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger. The sweet story from 2,000+ years ago; not truly understanding the reason for the cradle. During the early years of my life, my love for Christ was present and I appreciated all the miracles and the possibilities of that joyous season.
My true understanding of Christmas, was as an adult, when I came to know Christ as my Lord and Savior. Feeling His love and the guidance of the Holy Spirit to envelop my mind and heart, to follow Him and to trust in Him. Learning that my Savior died on a cross all those years ago, and knowing He was thinking of me when he hung on that cross. It is unimaginable to think of Him nailed to the cross for my sins, “MY SINS”!!! But to know that if we did not have the cradle, we could not have the cross. To appreciate this glorious time of the year allows us to think of what Christ has done for all of us. The love of family, spending quality time with friends, spreading the songs of Christmas and most of all, telling others about the “Great News”!
The great news that Jesus Christ is the greatest gift anyone can share during this holiday season.
Give the gifts to your children, grandchildren, extended family and friends, decorate the trees with lights and tinsel, bake the cookies, attend the festive events, but in all things be sure to keep Christ as the main focus of our attention. Spend time in devoted prayer with our heavenly Father and give thanks for all that He has done for us. When I stay focused on Jesus and all the blessings He has given me and my family, my holidays are filled with the love that Christ shared with me.
Merry Christmas and God Bless. “
I also asked my 6-year-old son Peyton, what comes to his mind when he thinks of Christmas. He said that when he thinks of Christmas he thinks about Jesus’s birthday and how lucky we are that he died on the cross for our sin and that he loves Jesus. Peyton also told me that Santa wasn’t half bad either, he said that he likes to see the smiles on other kids faces when they get their gifts. He also said that he loves his Mommy, Daddy, Sissy, MawMaw, and he loves and misses his Pappy very much. He wishes he was here, but now, he gets to spend Christmas in heaven with Jesus. Peyton also said he loves his Grammie (Owner Diane) and PopPop, and he loves that they know what Christmas really is about.
Christmas isn’t about the presents, but, about His Presence!
Thank you for sharing this time with us, and we hope you get to
enjoy spending time with your family and friends during
this Blessed season.
"I colored this Christmas ball in school, and I put the numbers all around it to shows all the people that committed their lives to Christ around the world at the same time. "
God Bless you,
6 years old