I love Christmas.
I love the gathering of friends and family and seeing those
who I haven’t seen in months or years.
Most of all, I love the lights at Christmas because it reminds me of the verse…Jesus is the light of the world.
“Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” John 8:12 (ESV)
Since I love Christmas so much, I even shocked myself when I considered skipping the decorations two years ago. Then Paige, my eldest daughter, reminded me that Christmas was at my house and Madison and Wyatt, my grandchildren, would be coming over.
For me the true meaning of Christmas is all about Jesus coming as the baby in the manger and eventually giving his life for us. So after 33 years of Christmas, I chose to simplify Christmas and get back to the true meaning.
Lights. Cameras. Actions.
I found that lighted garland is my friend and I basically use that as a staple of decoration. I have it everywhere: fireplace, computer center, kitchen, outside, inside… The tree is full of white lights and non-breakable ornaments. The decorations that cover the tree are gold and cream silk poinsettias, gold poinsettias, roses, pinecones and berries.
The back porch or Lanai is decorated with party lights all year long and at Christmas time, Christmas lights frame the doors. When my husband puts up the house lights, he jokes that our house can be seen by the pilots flying by. (It’s really not that much.)
With cameras in hand, the gift exchange began. As the children were tearing open their presents, the adults were taking rapid fire pictures documenting every smile, squeal and hug. I can still see the look on the face of my granddaughter when she opened her Tinkerbell wings. It brings a smile to face even now.
Cameras allow us to document all of the memories and special moments but our actions may have more of an impact than we think. Christmas can be a time of joy, sorrow, disappointment or reconciliation. My prayer each year is that my actions be pleasing to the Lord and that I find the right words to speak at the right time.
So often families are together in close quarters for hours on end. Even though that is a wonderful opportunity to catch up, it can also be a time of increased stress. We gather together with different traditions, opinions and beliefs.
May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing to you, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer. Psalm 19:14 (NLT)
So as you gather with family and friends, string the lights, capture the moments with your cameras and make memories. Also, allow your actions to be a blessing to others.
Laura is a breast cancer survivor and advocate for women who teaches how to get through cancer without losing yourself. She is also a wife, mom, Mimi (Grandma) author, speaker, blogger and encourager at heart. She is passionate about sharing her journey through breast cancer to encourage, inspire and empower others. Her story is published in her book Keeping It Real: Personal Reflections of My Journey Through Breast Cancer.