Thursday, December 15, 2011

CHRISTMAS MEMORIES



BY CARLA MCDOUGAL

"For nothing is impossible with God." Luke 1:37

Christmas traditions. 
Sweet memories. 
Carla McDougal
Christmas carols ringing.

If you're like me this time of year brings to the surface memories of long ago. I can describe the cover of the famous Johnny Mathis Christmas album in detail. In fact, when I hear the jingle of his "Sleigh Bells Ring" song the Christmas spirit comes alive. What about all those Christmas decorations collected over the years. Unpacking each container usher's in moments of Christmas' past. The ceramic figures painted a variety of colors with a name only a mama could read. The ornament your child made in first grade with his toothless picture embedded in the center. The first ornament you received as a couple reminding you of the covenant made years ago. Unveiling the Precious Moments Nativity figures brings a warmth to my heart. Each piece reminding me of the Reason for the Season... Jesus! 

Memories... some old, some new.

This year we purchased a new artificial Christmas tree. As Fred assembled the pieces we reminisced back to our first Christmas as man and wife... 27 years ago. We were seniors in college with no money. Every penny counted. So, we decided to save money by cutting our own Christmas tree. It was so much fun! The Christmas farm played festive music and offered free hot chocolate. With axe in hand, we entered the pine forest to find the ideal tree. Practicing our newly married skills we agreed on the perfect tree. Of course, at these farms you pay by the foot. As a result, our tree of choice was a very round plump tree instead of a tall symmetrical tree. Fred cut it right at the bottom of the branches so we didn't have to pay for the lower bare section. Smart shoppers... we knew we were getting the most for our money. Excitement filled the air all the way home to our small trailer house. Fred made a stand out of 2 two-by-fours. Keep in mind because of our genius idea  this tree about 1 maybe 2 inches of tree truck for the stand. Visualize what it looked like. 

We strategically placed the tree in the living room. Because of its "plumpness" we only had about a foot of walking space between the front of the couch and the tree. We covered it with lights, plastic cheap apples, and homemade ornaments. Satisfaction overflowed as we snuggled on the couch with the lights glistening and the tree limbs knocking at our knees. 
All of the sudden, the tree began to rock back and forth until it lay at a 45 degree angle. Fred quickly re-adjusted its position. But, I must say with a smile on my face our first  Christmas tree had a mind of its own. Every morning when we walked into the living room to find the tree leaning in one direction or the other. It reminded us of the old toys called Weebles. Their slogan went something like this... "Weebles wobble but they don't fall down." 

Of course, we couldn't blame the tree... it had no base. In order to save money we cut off a vital part of the tree... its support system! What a life lesson! As a Christian we need to make sure we have a strong foundation build on Jesus Christ. We might look like we have it all together, but without a solid base we can easily wobble to and fro. A life built on the Word of God gives you a sturdy foundation to keep you from wobbling when the circumstances in life become heavy.  

Challenge for the Week... During this Christmas season take time to read the Christ-mas story: Luke:1-2. Really absorb every word. Ask the Lord to help you understand the reason for the season... Jesus. Set your foundation on Him, the one and only solid rock. Praise God in the difficult circumstances. Read the Word daily. Pray continually! Prepare yourself so when hard times sweep your direction you are set on the firm foundation of Christ.
 

GO TO CARLA'S BLOG HERE AND SHARE A FUNNY CHRISTMAS MEMORY IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO! :-)
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