The Christmas season is upon us again. Starbucks is selling their Christmas blend; stores are posting their holiday hours; and moms everywhere are making a list and checking it twice, planning for a special Christmas day.
It has been our family’s tradition to spend Christmas with relatives. Last year money was tight and we were unable to travel, this is not how we had planned to spend Christmas day but circumstances were beyond our control. Realizing my three boys--who are now teenagers--will not be under our roof for much longer, I wanted to have a special Christmas with just the five of us.
Leading up to Christmas morning we all made mouth-watering, cinnamon cut-out cookies, spent time together sticking tape everywhere while trying to wrap presents, and enjoyed spending time together. We did not have much money, but were having fun making memories.
When Christmas morning arrived and we sat around to open gifts my eyes welled up with overwhelming joy. This mother was trying to absorb all the activity that was going on all around her: the smiles from each of my teenage boys, the sounds of laughter, and the smell of cinnamon rolls cooking in the oven. If I could freeze a moment in time, this would be it. I don’t know what the future holds for each of my boys, but that Christmas morning I wanted to soak it all in so I could recall this special day for years to come. Despite struggling financially, unexpected circumstances turned into immense joy and a lifetime of memories.
Mothers treasuring special moments is not something new. Mary, mother of Jesus Christ, was one who tried to soak in everything that first Christmas morning. Even after Christ’s birth she was still trying to absorb what the angel had said to her when he delivered the news that she was going to be the mother of the coming Savior. She reflected on the time she had with her cousin Elizabeth while they were both pregnant. Along with comprehending the unusual way her son came into this world. While very pregnant with child, Mary and Joseph traveled from Nazareth to Bethlehem to register Mary for the census. Never did she image she would deliver her baby in a barn with a manger being the only thing to lay him down in. These were not the circumstances she had envisioned. Before she had time to catch her breath, suddenly all around her there was excitement when shepherds showed up reporting what they had seen and heard. There were angels—a multitude of angels—who were singing and declaring the Savior was born and a bright star led them to her and Joseph.
So much has happened in a short amount of time and Mary did not want to forget any of it. Instead she stepped back and “treasured up all these things, pondering them in her heart.” (Luke 2:19) Mary did not exactly know what the plans were for her son, but she knew it was going to change the lives of everyone on earth. She was preparing her heart to obey God concerning her son Jesus, without the full knowledge of what was going to come while at the same time quietly reflecting and capturing this one special moment in time.
May this Christmas be filled with joy and a lifetime of memories, even if you find yourself in unexpected circumstances. Merry Christmas!