Blog Article

Reflecting on Christmas

Written by Carol Beaver, Church Advocate, Legacy Coalition

As I write today, it is the week of Christmas. My personal shopping is not completely done, nor is anything I have bought wrapped.

Too many of the gifts are little plastic cards. Big grandkids are particular about what they want, so I help them toward their wishes coming true.

No smell of baking Yule Kag is lingering in the air, and not a single homemade cookie is to be found.

My new artificial tree graces its dedicated corner wrapped only in lights. Decorating the tree is my reward for sending this off.

My task is to write for January, while still in the middle of Christmas activities and wishes.

I wonder if I am the only one who wants these days to linger and not jump too fast into the new year.

A year ago, we imagined that by now things would be back to normal.

The transition between the years is a time of reflection and hope for better times coming.

In 2021, reflection moments often land on what didn’t happen: the vacation we didn’t take, the job that didn’t materialize, or the job that ended up taking a huge amount of time.

Even more devastating are the thoughts of the people who left us behind when they passed away from Covid, accidents, heart attacks, or by their own hand.

These have been and continue to be difficult times to process. Our hearts yearn for the joy of Christmas.

At the same time, we long to focus on our precious Savior’s birth as well as our special traditions.

Many yearn to give grandchildren special memories of the meaning of Christmas and share with them the Peace, Hope, Joy, and Love of Christmas.

The old Christian calendar that has given us Advent says that Christmastide lasts through the evening of January 5. These days gave us the famous (or infamous) song, The Twelve Days of Christmas.

I was disappointed to find that the song’s original purpose was not as a catechism for children, but looking at the lessons that someone made up is thought-provoking.

Epiphany, the traditional date for the arrival of the Wisemen is January 6, so you can exchange gifts and be within the season of Christmas. You could probably even do your Christmas cards after December 25.

Coming right in the middle of Christmastide is the New Year’s holiday. The coming of the new year causes us once again to pause in reflection and hope.

For many, finding happy memories may be difficult.

The year was very unlike our usual experience. However, as Christian parents and grandparents, we can model and guide discussions to find the good.

We know God works in all things for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purpose.

We may not fully understand all that has happened in our world, our communities, our schools, and even our own homes, but we can still model trust by praying over hard things, finding little joys, speaking well of others, and studying scripture.

After we complete our reflections of the year that has passed, another question inevitably comes up: “What is your New Year’s Resolution?”

The time of reflection of past and future that becomes part of this holiday season certainly makes us aware of things that we would like to change.

However, New Year’s Resolutions are a mixed bag for most people.

More stories reflect failing to stick with the resolution, often accompanied by laughter. Many people make resolutions, but less than half actually continue them through even a half of the year.

Whether we make a resolution or not, the bridge between two years is a good time to reflect on how God has worked in our lives this year.

What has He allowed into your life? How did you handle it? Am I pleasing God? Have I asked the Holy Spirits what He wants me to learn?

When did God bring me or show me hope, peace, joy, and love this day, this month, or this year, even in hard times?

Where has my faith grown? What new thing did I experience? When did God show His grace or mercy to me this year?

Am I listening to the Holy Spirit? Who needs a friend? Where can I serve? Should I step back from something to let another be blessed?

Consider taking some moments in this Christmastide to spend quietly with the Lord to let Him give His wisdom.

As a grandparent, your children and their children are watching and learning from you.

Every grandparenting situation is different. Sometimes it takes effort to connect with modern children and young adults. Prayer and reflection are steps for everyone.

3 thoughts on “Reflecting on Christmas”

  1. Thank you for the thought provoking questions to ponder. We have a Grand Living small group at our church. I would like to use these as questions for our conversation starters at our January meeting. I think that you expressed well the longing and the heart messages many of us feel this season. I am so glad to have found this ministry and the people who contribute to it.

  2. So so true! These words of wisdom beg the reflection our hearts are usually too busy with right now. This time spent with Him in soul searching is so much more rewarding than time spent thinking up new New Years Resolutions!!
    Thank you Carol! God bless you.

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