Part of the journey of Christmas for me each year are the multitude of sweet memories triggered by current traditions and events I experience. Here are a few that always come to mind.
- My parents cared for foster children, so many holidays, there were a total of 6-8 children waking up Christmas morning. On these wondrous occasions, our living room was filled to the brim with gifts that were piled so high, they rivaled the height of the tree!
- My dad made amazing fudge (and still does) every year. I always did (and still do) eat way too much.
- A few years in junior high, I belonged to a teen organization that hosted wonderful dances which were unlike school dances. Everyone had lots of dance partners, and no one was shy about asking. We definitely shared some special moments.
- Christmas Eve services with candles and carols were simple and breathtaking all at the same time.
I also remember feeling genuinely loved by God. And it is that memory that I most want to share with others because growing up surrounded by foster children taught me one thing: that not everyone’s childhood memories are filled with reminders that God deeply loves them. So one of my writing missions at Christmas is to help people create new memories. I firmly believe that God uses people to show other people how deep, wide and lavish is the love he has to offer.
I am not the innocent, naive 14 year old in my Christmas memories anymore. I know that. I am far more jaded about the world than I was in my youth. I can be pessimistic and battle what I call a “grrrr” factor. But I still have an undeniable hope. I still find that Love resonating across the miles of life I have traveled and without fail, it can still penetrate my darkest moments. It is always stronger than my struggles.
At the risk of sounding like the 14 year old naive me, I really do believe with 100% of my heart that this same Love of God can do the same for you. Enjoy my Christmas blessing! – Denise