I’ve been hearing lots of Christmas Carol this season as I’m shopping and it always makes me want to hum along.
There’s something about Christmas that floods me with memories and thrills my heart. Christmas takes me back to my childhood. My memories are not about Christmas trees, decorations, lots of gifts and the marketing that we’re flooded with today.
Somehow I knew as a kid, mom and dad couldn’t afford to give all eight of us lots of gifts. Most time they bought us gifts that we would share with each other.
Christmas was filled with visits to our grandparents and extended family, more time with my family, going Christmas Caroling, being a part of the school play, and making lots of candy and cookies. Spending time with my mom in the kitchen making cookies and candy are my clearest memories. It was so much fun and the joy of Christmas was very real to me.
The truth of Christmas was instilled in us and we knew it was all about a miracle, The Christmas Story.
Every year at Christmas we heard the story of “the baby born in Bethlehem.” I would imagine what it was like for Mary and Joseph, the shepherds watching over their sheep, the angels announcing the birth of Jesus and the wise men guided by a star to the place where Jesus was.
I knew one thing about Christmas – it was miraculous and I was wide-eyed with wonder! I believe it’s the Christmas story that shaped me into believing that miracles are possible!
Fast forward to the year 2015. We had moved to Texas two years prior which meant we were no longer near our whole family. We had enjoyed celebrating Christmas together for many years and lived five minutes from our two daughters and their families. Moving to Texas was the beginning of many changes, one being how do we do Christmas.
After two years of adjusting to our new life in Texas, I tried to think of ways for us to get together as a family and it seemed impossible to make it happen. (Our one daughter LaVale lived near us but our other daughter lived in another state.) At one point I told Jonas, “I surrender. Christmas will be what it will be and it’ll be ok however we celebrate.”
My desire was to be with all my family for Christmas and two weeks before it arrived a miracle began to take shape. My daughter, LaWonna called and asked if I would surprise my granddaughter Trinity and fly her to Pennsylvania as a gift. Of course, I would! We began making plans and on Christmas Eve I flew to LaWonna’s home in Arizona.
I was still in disbelief that I was actually with my daughter and her family for Christmas even though it was only an overnight stay.
Christmas morning I woke up and surprised the rest of the family by my presence. (They didn’t know I was coming!) As we giggled and talked, I was overwhelmed with joy. I can still feel the wonder of it all!
Later that day, Trinity headed to PA and I flew back to Texas. When I got home I hurried to my other daughter, LaVale’s house to see if I could catch the family Christmas dinner. I walked into her home at 8:00 the evening of Christmas Day. They were sitting around the table and I was totally joy-filled!
I spent Christmas Day with all my family! In Arizona for Christmas Eve and Christmas morning with one daughter and her family. In Texas for dinner Christmas evening with the rest of my family.
As I tell this story, tears flow because I experienced a true Christmas Miracle! There really is something miraculous about Christmas!
Christmas continues to look different but this miracle keeps me filled with wide-eyed wonder, just like when I was a kid.
This article first appeared in Anne’s Weekly newsletter! To subscribe, click here. Each week, Anne sends a short inspirational email straight to your inbox. As a subscriber, you’ll also have first access to new events, books, and more! Click to subscribe.