In our family there are many stories and memories about Christmases past. With my father now gone, I remember these treasured tales with the start of every holiday season.
Born just three months before the stock market’s great crash in 1929, my father spent his early years on a northern Indiana farm. His first experience with indoor plumbing came at age thirteen when his family moved into town to be closer to his school. His favorite Christmas memory was not of a coveted gift found under the tree, but of the delicious pies his mother would bake, their scents of fruit and chocolate permeating the entire house. It was a labor of love as she spent Christmas Eve in front of her wood-burning stove, baking for her family.
My mother grew up in a middle-class home in the 1940’s, her father an engineer working for the local utilities company. The first memory she shares is always of the set of Noah’s Ark stuffed animals she received one Christmas, a homemade gift that my grandmother made by hand. Of all the gifts she received, those little animals still hold a special place.
During the Christmas season it is easy to get caught up in the bustle of parties, gift purchases, travel plans, and the expectations of others. But it is a wonderful time to reflect on one of God’s gifts to us: enjoying the simple things from His Hand…
There was a man in the bible who learned through excess that the simple things in life are a gift, a king who had it all. In Ecclesiastes 6:9, King Solomon wrote about pursuing his cravings and desires for more, only to find that it all came to emptiness and futility—chasing the wind!
Will you keep a place in your heart to treasure the simple things this holiday season? You may find that they are the greatest gift of all!