The highs, lows and constancy of Christmas

And now . . . a guest post from my husband.

The First Christmas

My first Christmas memory comes before age six. The anticipation for myself and the other two foster children, they were to be adopted by the family, had been building for weeks. The tree was a beautiful dark green with sparkling lights, tinsel, ornaments and a sea of colorfully wrapped presents. The joy of running and laughing children couldn’t be contained that Christmas morning.

Wrapping flying with shouts and giggles at the revealing of each new gift. Soon the lights were turned off and the family moved on to other festivities leaving a solitary figure behind. Dawning upon this child was the fact that he had received nothing! Alone for hours this first Christmas memory would leave a lasting hurt.

Not Always So

The next Christmas memory came after my adoption. Beautiful tree, rows of gifts but no anticipation, no building excitement. The joy of running and laughing children couldn’t be contained that Christmas morning. Wrapping flying with shouts and giggles at the revealing of each new gift. The question on my lips, ‘is this really mine?’ Yes, my parents exclaimed, though I didn’t quite believe it. Astounded for such goodness had never come my way.

The Lost Christmas

Fast forward 30 or so years. For the first time in ages a Christmas tree stood in my home. The decorations slowly making their way to the top of the tree because of the busyness of a not yet two year old. Thirteen days before Christmas his little mischievous ways would be taken from us forever. That Christmas was shrouded in sorrow and barely celebrated. We were hanging on by threads.

The Best Christmas

One year later came the best Christmas. One carefully sought out gift for each child, scripture reading, hymns, good food and family. The height of the storm had passed and we could see clearly what Christmas actually symbolizes. The birth and fulfillment of hope leading us to….

The Constancy of Christmas

Christmas has much to teach. Firstly, the un-adopted son receives nothing, no good gift; while the adopted son receives many great and free gifts. The ability to, and the reason for overcoming the pain and suffering of our lives was once wrapped in swaddling clothes and placed in a manger. Thirdly, whether a tree stands in your home or not; what is raised or taken down in the town square, Christ’s birth cannot not be overturned or quieted for it is truth. Fourthly, the greatest truth of all is that one cannot separate Christmas from Easter:

“Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord….Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead…. (Luke 2:11; 1 Peter 1:3)”

Good tidings to all, and a Merry Christmas to you.

About Dana

Dana homeschools her children on five acres in the country with her husband John.
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4 Responses to The highs, lows and constancy of Christmas

  1. Troy Eckhardt says:

    The Eckhardts send greetings of love, joy, and peace to the Hanleys. Merry Christmas! May it be the best ever!

  2. Dear Dana & John

    Thank you so much for sharing from your heart…I too have mixed memories around Christmas and yet in the end the reminder of what Christmas is really about is the best gift of all.

    We pray and hope that you feel blessed and loved this Christmas Day, hugs to you as you miss Tiggy and celebrate the joy and sweetness of the rest of your family. We share many similar situations and yes, I am most thankful for the Love of our Lord Jesus Christ. Merry Christmas from our home to yours. Ron & Ali Workenting
    Ali Workentin´s last [type] ..A little snippet of what we did last night

  3. Angela Watts says:

    I always think of you at the holidays. I hope this year brings with it new memories to interweave with the old ones. Christmas is a time for angels and Tiggy is right at home with good company.

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