I’m not the kind of person who has been able to hold on to my childhood memories over the years. My husband seems to have so many stories from when he was younger, but for me childhood is something of a blur.
Still, there are always vivid memories of Christmas. It never seemed to matter what we did or where we went, Christmas was always special and I think that was because my mom made it so. Even the years when me or my brother were sick, somehow she still seemed to make sure we had a wonderful holiday.
I did not inherit her ability to turn the season into something magical. Mostly, my Christmas season consists of putting up a tree, putting a wreath on my front door and watching a lot of Hallmark Christmas movies (and then reviewing them on my Instagram Stories). This year it is especially busy, and I find myself with very little time to reflect on what is most important to me about Christmas.
But when I stop and slow down, even for a moment, and think about Christmases past, I’m struck with one simple memory.
Every Christmas Eve since I was little, my family has celebrated at my mom and dad’s house. My grandparents were divorced and while I didn’t really understand what that meant as a small child I knew that Christmas Eve was “Grandpa’s”. I love all of my grandparents, but there is something kind of special about him. Maybe it’s because he was the artist or the one who understood me best? Maybe it was for some other reason that didn’t really make sense, but I always felt I had some sort of kinship with him.
I distinctly remember one Christmas Eve, when I was really young. I think it was probably at a time when I still believed in Santa Claus, but when I looked up into the night sky I remember asking my grandpa about something else entirely. I wasn’t looking for reindeer or Santa’s sleigh or the distant rumble of “ho ho ho”. I wanted to know where was the star that led the Wise Men to Jesus?
It’s funny now that I’m an adult thinking about a child asking that question because, of course, looking up into the night sky I wouldn’t be able to pick out the star that showed where the baby Jesus was. But, if my grandpa thought that way he didn’t let on. Instead he walked me over to the front door, leaned down next to me and peered up through the glass at the sky in front of our house. After a few seconds of searching he pointed, “There,” he said. “That’s the one.”
I don’t know why the simple memory still sits so high at the top of my mind. I don’t know why I don’t remember the smiles, or the lights on the tree, or even what present I got that year. Maybe somehow even then I knew that there were more important things about Christmas then Cabbage Patch Dolls and Easy-Bake Ovens.
Thinking about it now, I have to wonder if his sureness about that star made me feel special, like I got to see something that those Wiseman saw. Somehow it brought the whole Christmas story to life. I know he could’ve brushed it off as a silly question from a small child who’d heard a story in Sunday school. I’m glad he didn’t. I’m glad you took the time to lean down next to me, to search the sky, to find the star.
So while my memories sometimes feel foggy, I suppose I should be thankful that this most important one is crystal clear. The sweet reminder of the holiday season, of Christmas and what it really means–it sort of puts everything into perspective. Suddenly it doesn’t matter that I only have a wreath on the door, that I didn’t get time to string lights outside or bake cookies for the neighbors. Somehow it makes it OK that I can sit and rest in the knowledge that I get to look up at the star that meant so much all those years ago.
I’m excited to be participating in this wonderful giveaway in celebration of this beautiful Christmas season. I hope you’ll enter (and I hope you win!) 🙂
Be sure to visit each stop so you don’t miss the fabulous daily giveaways!
Dec 10: Catherine West – Welcome to My Favorite Christmassy Things
Dec 10: Cynthia Ruchti – My Favorite Christmas Tree
Dec 11: Tamara Leigh – My Favorite Christmas Carol
Dec 12: Lauren K. Denton – My Favorite Christmas Disaster
Dec 13: Ronie Kendig – My Favorite Christmas Movie
Dec 14: Jody Hedlund – My Favorite Christmas Food
Dec 15: Elizabeth Byler Younts – My Favorite Christmas Ornament
Dec 16: Beth K. Vogt – My Favorite Christmas Decoration
Dec 17: Rachel Linden – My Favorite Christmas Service
Dec 18: Courtney Walsh – My Favorite Christmas Memory
Dec 19: Rachel Hauck – My Favorite Christmas Book
Dec 20: Susan Meissner – My Favorite Christmas Vacation
Dec 21: Catherine J. West – My Favorite Christmas Gift
Enter by midnight on 12/21/18 USA Eastern time! Winners will be drawn on 12/22/18 and posted on Catherine West’s site.
Draw open to US addresses ONLY, with apologies to our international readers.
1st: All 12 Print Novels
2nd: $50 Amazon gift card and $20 Starbucks Gift Card
3rd: $50 Amazon gift card