Quiet and Simple Christmas Memories

presents(Note: This article was originally posted on blogs.bible.org.)

If you’ve watched “Jingle all the Way” with Arnold Schwarzenegger, you know it’s about a Dad who waits till the last minute to get a son his most desired Christmas present. But even if you haven’t seen it, you might identify with the urge to drool over the newest gizmos and gadgets.

And we don’t stop with gifts. We want the biggest tree, an Elf on the Shelf with creative pranks, memorable Jesus moments, and the award for brightest Christmas lights.

I love Christmas and holiday traditions. I really do. But I took a moment to reflect recently on some of my most memorable Christmas moments, and the results were convicting. It seems that most of my favorite memories are of simple, quiet moments.

Here are a few of them (in no specific order):

  1. Playing Skipbo with my grandma.
  2. Going to see lights on Christmas Eve.
  3. Snow.
  4. Hearing my Dad read Luke 2.
  5. That broken angel that sat on top of the family tree every year.
  6. Making cookies with my family.
  7. Spending time with family members I didn’t see often.
  8. Opening Christmas cards.
  9. Seeing the joy on people’s faces as they talked about the advent of baby Jesus.
  10. Singing Christmas Carols.

Maybe this year I’ll try for more quiet memories than moments with spectacular fanfare and glittery wrapping paper.

This year I want to be still and know that my God is God (cf. Ps. 46:10) and to remember that Christ is with us: “Look! The virgin will conceive and bear a son, and they will call himEmmanuel,’ which means ‘God with us’ (Matthew 1:23).