For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish, but have eternal life.
.-John 3:16 NIV
My fondest childhood memories of Christmas were when I would visit my grandmother’s cozy cottage by the water’s edge. The smoky air from a fireplace that didn’t draft well was the gathering place. When someone would open the back door, the ocean breeze would fill the room with a chill. The Christmas tree was cut from the woods next to her cottage. It was always a cedar tree. Some years it would be short and squatty and other years, lean and upright. The large colored old- fashioned Christmas lights were strung on the tree beside carefully placed silver tinsel. If we could find a candy cane on the tree, it was ours to keep. Hot chocolate and marshmallows warmed our spirits as we enjoyed my grandmother’s baking. Reflecting on such a long time ago, these memories are indelibly etched in my mind. Now, I am a grandmother and I look forward to seeing granbchildren at Christmas. Old traditions continue, new ones are introduced and some are updated for the modern times we live in, but the love of family and togetherness remains strong and present. I thank Him for the gift of grandmothers, for their example and role they have played in our lives.
The gift of Christmas is love. God’s gift to us was His Son. There is no greater gift that exists. Eternal life and forgiveness of our sins are ours not just at Christmas but every day. There is no wrapped gift under the tree that could come close. If God loved us that much that He would save us through His Son, what can we do to keep his love alive today? Christmas can be more than just a season of love. It can also last the whole year long. Showing love doesn’t have to be about money or extravagance either. Cherished memories and time spent together is what is really remembered in the end. Young children love to have a grownup play a game with them. To be pushed on a swing, to make cookies or take a walk together. The elderly are so appreciative of someone spending time with them. Their eyes twinkle and they feel youthful again as they recall the same stories from long ago. And they are grateful that everyone acts as though they are hearing those stories for the first time. Making memories of love and togetherness that brings the generations closer are the ones that will be long remembered and treasured in the years to come…like a squatty tree, hot chocolate and especially the memory of a grandmother’s hug.