I got a daily devotional booklet this year from a dear friend. Most weeks I’m too busy to remember that I need a daily devotional, much less take the time to read it, but yesterday’s thought said, “We do not remember days, we remember moments. Make each moment worth remembering.”

There are so many moments I have from this season (most of them involve being with someone and feeling loved): singing carols, lighting candles, hearing bells, the re-telling of the story of the first Christmas by children in church dressed in bath robes–I love the kids who wave at their parents from the front of the church–I always wave back (this morning, the children of our church led worship), watching Christmas cartoons (Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer, the Grinch, Peanuts Christmas, Frosty The Snowman), reading books (Polar Express–great book–if you don’t have it give it to yourself, the Night Before Christmas, Christmas Mouse), hot chocolate, warm fires and watching the lights from the tree–I have a live Christmas tree partly because I like the way it makes the house smell. Like my dad, I’ve always been a night owl. I love to sit alone in the living room with all the lights off, except the tiny lights on the tree blinking around in the room. I don’t know where your happy places are, but that’s one of mine. Memories of Christmas past come back as I watch that light show and everything else is still and peaceful.

Yesterday we got our tree–brought that baby home to decorate. Max–at 2 1/2 years old–asked me what is “decorate” the tree and all I could think of was making our tree pretty. Then I tried making it special, then I tried putting ornaments on it. Then I just said, “you’ll see”. We untangled the lights and tried to get them all working. I don’t know why I bother trying to figure out which bulb don’t work–I found a new string for only $1.64. We put up ornaments, trying to find the right place for them–well placement is a must. Together Max and I, with Ron’s help and Zach’s pointing, got our tree up and decorated, complete with star that was way to heavy for our initial tree top.

My prayers for this Christmas are that we soak up the moments of this season–
the moments we are together with friends and family
the moments Christ comes to us even in little ways
the moments God uses small things to give us a sense of peace and surround us with love like no other
…and that we will find time to be still (I guess that’s what I need this year)
that we enjoy the moments–the doing-together stuff, even more than the “we have to get and give stuff;”
that we’ll remember what Christmas is all about relationships–ours to God in Christ (both the baby and the adult) and ours to each other.

Okay one last story, tonight before bed I was straightening the living room after decorating the tree. You know putting away boxes, extra lights and tidying up. We have a new nativity scene this year thanks to a friend. This nativity is a cloth one for a child. All of the foam figures were thrown around the floor. As I started to put them together I couldn’t find the baby Jesus in the manger or anywhere else. I looked for a long time for that baby. I remember that Max and Zach had been putting the figures in this antique looking bird house I have near the table the nativity was on. The baby Jesus was safely caged in the bird house. I freed baby Jesus and put him back where he belonged. If you are looking for the Christ child this season, remember to look in unlikely places, like a stable. There’s a song or a sermon in that idea. Have a Merry Christmas! With love, Celia

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