“Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped; but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bondservant, and being made in the likeness of men, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.” Phil. 2:5-8
Working to get ready for Christmas! And thinking of Mother today….
By now, Mother would’ve finished her fruitcake cookies, her pecan sandies, pecan and pumpkin pies, and her Martha Washington candy by now. She would’ve put the wreath on the door, lights out front; she’d have decorated the tree and completed her shopping. The tree would be wearing beautifully created decorations that she’d made by hand ~ unique and precious. A few of them were heirlooms I’d one day own.
She would then be in church on Christmas Eve, and she’d make sure that everyone in the family was already invited to her upcoming Christmas day celebration.
When we arrived on Christmas day, the kitchen would smell like turkey and honey baked ham, and her dressing, broccoli-rice casserole, and sweet potato casserole would be beckoning. Everything would be beautifully arranged, perfectly prepared. On her old antique library table to the side would be pecan candies, fruitcake cookies, Martha Washington candy, cherry pie, pecan pie. All the Christmas tablecloths would be out, especially that peppermint-themed favorite on her kitchen table.
She’d be wearing a big smile and an old worn Christmas apron that had been passed down through the generations ~ a symbol of our family’s heritage of love.
After our feast one of the littlest kids would read the Christmas story from Luke chapter 2 while everyone listened intently. This had been a tradition in our family for decades.
Then it was time to plunge into the massive pile of gifts around the tree. There’d be laughter all around, children playing, and a real sense of joy in the air. As gifts were opened we’d wade around in a sea of wrapping paper while the little ones enjoyed all the boxes and ribbons. And afterwards everyone would go out back for a rousing game of soccer. Some of us would sit around and drink coffee, then begin to gather up boxes, ribbons, and paper…
I can’t tell you how much I miss her at Christmas.
But I know where she is, and I have a notion that she’s spreading the same sense of warmth joy in heaven. Having her for a mom was an inestimable gift. Her heritage of love and hospitality lives on, and I’m certain she sees and rejoices over every holiday celebration we share.
I still strive toward her standard of excellence ~ a standard of which she herself wasn’t even aware. Mother was a servant. She was an encourager. And these were her gifts. When Christmas time rolled around, she knew exactly how to do Christmas. For her, it was simply her way of expressing her love at this season.
I can’t go back, I can’t “go home again.” I know that and have accepted it. Those cherished memories are just that, although I hold them close day by day. My desire, therefore, from this day forward, is to try and bring that same warmth and loving spirit to those around me during the Christmas season. My aim is to share the gentle, loving spirit of Christ’s coming ~ just as Mother did. She was a quiet person. She was very humble and unassuming. And yet she knew how to love, to give, to serve.
Isn’t that exactly who Jesus was?
“For the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.” Mark 10:45
MERRY CHRISTMAS, EVERYONE!
MUCH LOVE TO YOU AND YOUR LOVED ONES!