By now you know I love Christmas and you’re probably pretty sick of me talking about it. Well, I read a Facebook post by a friend that talked about how Christmas memories make her sad. I can relate as my mom passed the day after Thanimg_0845ksgiving 17 years ago and she made my Christmas fanaticism look tame.

It’s easy to get upset and miss the joy of the holidays, but I chose to remember the happy times and focus less on the sad ones. Sad ones do creep in and they have the right to show up once in a while, but I have the right to send them packing.

I remember one Christmas season 20 plus years ago. I drove through the middle of town and noticed a big wreath all lit up on the side of the hospital. I felt bad for those that were trapped in the hospital during the holidays and said a little prayer as I drove by.

Just a few days later, my husband, Jeff, had a heart attack and we found ourselves in that same hospital a week before Christmas. Instead of baking cookies and wrapping presents, I found myself walking the decked out halls of the hospital. I was surprised that the artificial Christmas trees and tinsel were a great comfort. The decorations reminded me that God was in control of our lives and gave me an assurance I never before knew they could.

I also remember that I had asked for a mantle for our fireplace that year. Jeff’s hospitalization curtailed his Christmas shopping, but he mentioned it to Tim, our good friend and pastor, who made sure my mantle showed up suitable for stocking hanging. Jeff came home on Christmas Eve, and we enjoyed the mantle that turned out to be the gift that has kept on giving every year.

Even now as I drive down the roads after dark, I thank folks in my thoughts for their taking the time to put the Christmas lights up in their yards. The joy of the season cannot be denied as we remember that Silent Night so long ago. The night that changed our lives forever.

Christmas comes but once a year, but Christ came for a lifetime.