THIS IS MY STORY—Christmas Reflections

By on December 3, 2015
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Editor’s Note: Mississippi Christian Living is blessed with a few wise and wonderful sages who meet with us four times a year to brainstorm, encourage, and provide some much needed wisdom to what we do. They are a mix of ages and occupations—the common denominator being that we all love Jesus and long to just do better to honor Him in this crazy world.

I asked for a few “reflections” on the Christmas season, and below you can read what several of the group of seven came up with. Laugh, smile, and relish the fact that Believers can exhibit such diversity. I am certain there will never ever be a dull moment in heaven! Merry Christmas and may these thoughts spur your own reflections!

Making Family Memories
by Peggy JeterWeb-Peggy-Jeter

Our family loves the Christmas season celebrating our most loving Father and the gift of His Son. This season gives us an extraordinary opportunity to raise His name high.

Though my side of our family is quite small, we hold each other dear and traditionally spend Christmas Eve—centered around communion at church with our children and now grandchildren, along with my sister and brother-in-law, Becky and Scott Davidson and her entire clan—together here in Jackson.

My husband’s mother, Catharine, decorates their Jeter home—in Flomaton, Alabama, where we join them each year—with ten Christmas trees creating a festive sight. Her husband, Sonny, may think it’s a tad overboard but is good humored about it, seeing the joy it brings her and others.

As our children’s families multiply, it may be harder each year to carve out this treasured time with our growing families, but well worth it celebrating the best gift of all—JESUS. As we share precious time with family and friends, we recognize that His birth is what Christmas is all about.

 

Tie a Yellow Ribbon Round the Old Oak Tree
By Andy WimberlyWeb-Andy-Wimberly

It was Christmas 2004 and our oldest son, Jason, was leaving the next week for Iraq to be a Blackhawk helicopter pilot. The entire family—about 30 of us—had gathered for lunch at our house.

The youngsters (including me) decided his farewell deserved “The Yellow Ribbon” action. So when all was said and done there were hundreds of yellow ribbons around trees, telephone poles, and anything else that was upright. What a sendoff! What a memory! And the good part is he is back home and safe. Thank you, LORD!

That was the last time we all have been together.

I have two things for you to ponder from this short story. First, there are still thousands of young men and women in harm’s way. Pray for them, write them, send them a gift package—they ALL deserve it.

Second, this Christmas season when gathered with your family, slow it down a bit, enjoy the moment, hug a lot, sing a song, be silly. It might be just be the last time for some to have the opportunity.

 

Christmas and My Retirement
By Shawn DeanWeb-Shawn-Dean

I’m a husband with three daughters. Three plus one is four. That makes four women who think that Christmas is for spending every last penny I have and maxing out the credit cards. It doesn’t matter that we have everything we could ever want—there’s still more. Almost forgot my mother-in-law. I’ll count her as a half because she instigates the tremendous spending. That’s four-and-a-half women!

Ever heard of American Girl dolls? Let me explain it to you. There’s this doll company in Wisconsin that has figured out how to ruin your retirement plan. My retirement plan is primarily based on what’s left of my in-laws estate which diminishes in value at the hands of this doll company every Christmas. I’m embarrassed to say how many of these American girl dolls we own and how much money has been spent—not to mention the accessory items that are a must—but it’s a big number that grows every year.

I see why alcohol consumption goes up at Christmas. I don’t drink, but if I did, I’d drink a lot and when I did, I did drink a lot. If I still drank, I wouldn’t come up for air from the beginning of November to the second week in January. Or, better yet, I’d stay at deer camp for three days every weekend and drown my sorrows while my family drains my 401K. “Mom got drunk and dad got drunk at our Christmas party…” (Lyrics from Merry Christmas from the Family.)

I say we scrap the whole thing and spend our money on me. I’ve got debt to pay and I want to retire as soon as possible. I’m 48. If everybody pitched in and gave what they spend on Santa Claus—a fictitious fat man who lies a lot and couldn’t possibly know Jesus—that could happen this year for me.

One last thing, men who love Christmas aren’t very masculine. I’m through now. Merry Christmas!

 

A Child’s Wonder
By Maggie IngramWeb-Maggie-Ingram-Pic

During our church’s Christmas Eve service last year, my daughter leaned over during a Scripture reading and asked my mother-in-law what the word conception meant. How do you adequately explain the concept of a virgin being pregnant with Jesus to a young girl who has not heard the facts of life?!

Since then, my husband and I have had the big talk with her. She and I were riding in the car the other day singing carols, and we got to the line, Round yon virgin, mother and child. She stopped and with wide eyes said, “Wait, Jesus’ mother was a virgin?! How did that happen?!” She was shocked and speechless. I nudged the conversation on, and the more we talked, the more I became convicted of how little time I had spent pondering the miracle of our Savior. 

I asked God to forgive me that I had grown dull to the marvel of His sending our King as a baby. As we ended the talk, she summed it up well by saying, “With God, all things really are possible.” As we enter this Christmas season, I thank God for the tender moment to witness, and for my own renewal of, the speechless grandeur of our God.