Friday, December 6, 2013

What will they remember?

I have, as most of you out there, been hustling and bustling trying to squeeze as much holiday traditions into the few days of December. I'm always excitedly running about making plans or trying out a new idea to celebrate with the kids. Tonight as I watched my kids dancing around to the music resonating from the old Christmas record we put on, my mind wondered.  After a day full of all the good stuff childhoods are made of.... snow day off of school, sledding, hot cocoa drinking and taking in holiday movies, I wondered just what would they remember about Christmas?

I often stop and think of my own childhood. The many traditions unfolding in my memories through the years of joy and wonder.  I loved snow days and the chance to play all day without any borders on our time of fun.  It's amazing how many lines I can still quote from the movie White Christmas and other favorites. There's so much good stuff between plays at school, going to look at lights in our maroon old mini van, decorating our little tree for our room, shopping with Daddy for Moma's presents, the many holiday parties, Christmas Eve services at my Nanny's church and of course the excitement of Christmas morning.

All those memories don't contain my Mom yelling at us for not wanting to participate in the photo for our family card or her getting frustrated at the 4 year old for turning too many days over in the advent calendar. Or her being so busy making plans for us to "celebrate" together that she forgot to relax so we could just enjoy what we were doing. Now maybe my mother did do some of those things, but I don't remember them.  I think that is because even though she isn't perfect, that wasn't the tone of our holidays.  All I remember is how much she loved Christmas and the joy that she brought to us.  I can see her now standing at the kitchen sink working and singing...

O holy Child of Bethlehem, descend to us, we pray;
Cast out our sin, and enter in, be born in us today.

That is what I remember about her and about Christmas.  Joy over a Savior.  A peaceful home on quiet snowy evenings.  The thrill of the magic that filled most everyday of the month of December.  I think I remember it this way because of her.  Not because her hot cider was just perfect (though it was) or she got us all the right gifts.  I don't remember if we made it to every local holiday event.  There was no pinterest and list of crafts that we had to rush through.  I think I have such fond memories of Christmas because she enjoyed it...with us.

We often forget as mother's that we set the tone for homes.  Especially so during the holiday season.  If we are frazzled and frantic with all the to do's, then our children might catch on to our moods. My heart is always in the right place. I want them to enjoy this season and I want to share with them the treasure of Jesus.  Even if it seems like I'm cramming it every nook and cranny of our time. Over all the greatest of memories my mother gave me, the best was that of seeing Jesus every year.  Isn't that what I want... for them...for me.  Going back to the Christmas carol my mother used to sing and we all know, O Little Town of Bethleham's lyrics....

Cast out our sin, and enter in, be born in us today.

I'm going to try to relax and stop making soo many lists.  I will sit a little longer with my toddler and the plastic nativity scene. Peace will be in my heart and I will speak love through the different stressful events/busy moments over the next few weeks. When my children ask me to sing "Angels We Have Heard On High" for the hundredth time, I'll do it with a smile on my face.  Because I want their memories to be how their Mommy was full of joy as she would sing about how the heavens broke loose with praise over the newborn Messiah.

snow day...25 or so years ago.


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