I took a trip the other day . . . a walk down memory lane.
While I finished my outdoor decorating over the weekend, the inside was completed later. As I unwrapped delicate tissue-enclosed items, my mind traced their origins and the memories accompanied each.
I opened one box and found the ceramic carolers I made for my mother one Christmas in the 1970s. I was working at the downtown Sears & Roebuck store in the catalog department. It was my real first job. Some of women I worked with took me with them to a ceramic shop one day during our lunch hour, and visions of Christmas presents danced in my head. I spent many hours carefully painting details on the half dozen little characters.
When Mother died, the carolers came to live at my house. When I place them on the piano in the living room, I think of her.
Travis our one and only son knew those carolers came out each December. One year, while he was yet a boy but old enough to have his own money, he went shopping and bought a set of small ceramic buildings with a string of tiny white lights that insert in each little house. It made them look like someone was home and waiting.
I set the houses up behind the carolers who “sing” for whoever might be home. And I think of my son.
Our one and only grandson noticed one of the boy carolers a couple of years ago and dressed up to look like him. The result was priceless. When I see that one small ceramic boy, I think of Ethan.
So many other things evoke memories.
The 15-piece white nativity set on my mantel, another inherited decoration, was a gift from a soldier that mother and dad invited to their home many years ago. The box of delicate pieces traveled hundreds of miles to say thank you to a couple who knew what it’s like to be far from home and living on an army base.
I thought of my dear Aunt Doris Rayhill, Dottie to me, when I lit the tea light candles in the green and red holly leaf votive cups that used to belong to her.
Other people come to mind as I look at things throughout my home, people who cared enough about me and those I love to invest their time and inspiration to create beauty. The memories stir deep feelings in me and I know these dear ones helped to shape my life.
Remembering is a key word throughout Scripture. The Lord God Almighty implored His people to remember what He had done for them, to remember the Sabbath as a day set aside to honor Him, to remember His miracles and His care by celebrating special feast days during the year.
It was important for them to remember. It is important for me to remember.
When life takes a turn from the sunshine and I find myself facing a rocky road where shadows cast their darkness, it is important for me to remember the grace that brought me this far. It is important to remember the victories that were fought and won for my sake. To remember the sovereignty of my Father above and know my life and my times are in His hands.
Christmas time brings lots of memories. Some make us smile. Others make us cry. I have lived life with its joy and its sorrow. But I have lived life! And by the grace on which I stand, I shall continue to live and move and have my being in the One whose birth I celebrate this season.
No wonder then that on the night He was betrayed, He took bread and the cup. He gave thanks and He said, “This is my body . . . this cup is the new covenant in my blood; do this . . . in remembrance of me.”
Recalling the gift of Christmas, the God-man sent in infant form, and the purpose of His coming is why I celebrate.
He has given me life. And I will remember.