A Different Perspective: Victoria Advocate
When I look back over the holiday season of 2021, the favorite things that come to mind aren’t the gifts I bought or received. Neither was it about the preparation to make things happen or the decorations. I’m relieved those particular To-Do lists are finished for another year, and I certainly won’t miss the endless trips to the grocery store and the extra shopping. The special memories I carry in my heart revolve around people.
My daughter invited me to New Braunfels to see a Nutcracker production with her and my two oldest granddaughters. I drove in the night before with Christmas presents. It was fun to see the girls playing with their newly acquired toys and trying on pajamas. Early Saturday morning, eight-year-old Annabelle joined me on the couch, and we snuggled and talked—a rare opportunity in their busy household. She was hungry, so I cut around the edges and sections of a grapefruit. We giggled about what size pip was small enough to eat, and then I showed her how to squeeze the juice and drink it out of the bowl. Not to be left out, her sisters joined us, and we extended the impromptu teaching session. By the time we finished, each sibling had eaten half a grapefruit—an awesome score for Mamaw.
Later that afternoon, we attended the Nutcracker. I drank in the lavish costumes and familiar music. We sat with my daughter’s friend and children, so it felt like family. However, our five-year-old Ria was a little bored with all the dancing. To this point, she’s been all-things-ballerina, but I think the live showing decided her against that career.
It was also the year I spent with my cousin at a Bible Study party. The hostess had a unique Christmas village with a train set up in a large room. It rivaled anything on Hallmark, and we got to see it in person. Even though my cousin and I have been friends our whole lives, our get-togethers are few and far between. Talking and visiting while we played games and ate Christmas food was good for my heart.
The holidays are fun, but they would be empty without more profound meaning. Funny how carrying around a toddler helped me remember why we celebrate December 25th. Warren was such a pleasant little guy. So adorable and friendly, he didn’t mind being held by a stranger. He greeted everyone I introduced him to and obligingly took a step or two when I showed off his walking skills. The opportunity to hold a miniature human tops my list for a precious moment.
The essence of the Christmas story is when God came to earth as a vulnerable baby. We didn’t have room for him in our typical human fashion—in our hearts or anywhere else. But he came anyway. Scripture says, “And the angel said to them, ‘Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David, a Savior who is Christ the Lord.’” (Luke 2:10-11)
Whether we believe it or not, receive him or not, Jesus came to end the separation between God and mankind.
A favorite church service is the Candlelight event on Christmas Eve. My spirit lifts when we sing carols and pray, but the collective candle lighting is what stirs my heart. In that poignant moment, lists and preparations cease, and I bask in God’s goodwill toward men. The room is packed with my brothers and sisters who believe as well. Together, we acknowledge that we lived in a dark place until the light of Jesus shone in our hearts.
That’s the miracle of Christmas and the hope we bring into the new year.