It’s true, Christmas can feel like a lot of work, particularly for mothers. But when you look back on all the Christmases in your life, you’ll find you’ve created family traditions and lasting memories. Those memories, good and bad, are really what help to keep a family together over the long haul. ~Caroline Kennedy
It’s been fun reading all of the Christmas stories readers have been sending in with their entries into my Christmas giveaway contest. You can read all about the prizes and more on my News & Events Page if you haven’t entered as yet. You can also enter by leaving a comment here and feel free to share a Christmas story too. The more the merrier and we all want a Merry, Merry Christmas.
But the one thing that has been crystal clear in the special Christmas memories you have been sharing with me is how we all want to be with family at Christmastime. Family and friends matter in a special way this time of the year. Jim shares a story from when he was a young married guy in the Navy and missing home.
We had only been married a year and that was a year still in college and only 2 hours from parents. Neither of us had ever not been with family on Christmas. Now we were in the Navy and halfway across the country when Christmas approached. We were really poor and going to be so grown up and not go home. We had a small tree decorated with pine cones we picked up on the Navy base and some strung popcorn. On December 23 my wife came to me and said, “Can we still go home?” I checked and we could, but leave in the Navy starts at midnight and you have to go on base and check out then to start your leave. On December 24 we did that and immediately started driving—23 hours straight through (did I mention we were poor and there were no credit cards except for gas?) Along the way we stopped and woke an elderly couple whose mansion was on fire (Christmas tree lights left on), and got them out of the house while I sent the paperboy to another house to call the fire department. We almost ran out of gas later in the trip because we could not find an open gas station. We arrived just 2 hours before the start of Christmas day (time zone change) and surprised everyone. My father-in-law gave us money for a hotel on the way back to the Navy base and told me not to do any more marathon drives. It was only for a couple of days, but we were home for Christmas.
I can only imagine how much Jim and his wife wanted to be home for Christmas since I’ve never lived away from my family and was always able to be home for the family celebration. But it can help us think about all the servicemen and women who are far from family this Christmas and say a prayer of peace and joy for them. So thanks, Jim, for sharing your story and for your service to our country.
As always, thanks for reading and I hope you get to spend Christmas with your family.
Christmas is the perfect time to celebrate the love of God and family and to create memories that will last forever. Jesus is God’s perfect, indescribable gift. The amazing thing is that not only are we able to receive this gift, but we are able to share it with others on Christmas and every other day of the year. (Joel Olsteen)