I deal in hope : Carolyn R Scheidies

Blog: Christmas—the Best Gift Worth Passing On

Tomorrow is Christmas Eve. I’m of Swedish background so Christmas Eve has always been the time my family celebrated Christmas—a tradition carried on after marriage.

At the Swedish congregations my father served as pastor, Santa Lucia played a part in the Christmas Julotta. That service took place either very late at night or early Christmas morning—depending on the tradition of the church we were serving at the time.

I like Christmas traditions. I like celebrating Christmas Eve. There is something special about celebrating at night, something more mystical, more spiritual.

Christmas was always more than greed and gifts. My siblings and I always knew Santa Claus wasn’t real, just for fun. Jesus was the focus of our Celebrations. Mom made a wonderful supper. Unfortunately, it always included lutefisk. Nasty stuff that. Tradition maybe, but one I didn’t carry on.

Later, Mom sat down at the piano and we sang through a host of familiar carols, before listening to the story of Jesus’ birth from the book of Luke. Such a magnificent and inspiring story of God’s love for you and me. Christmas is all about love. Of God who came on a rescue mission to save His creation-you and me—who had lost their way.

He came to bring hope and give a new start and life as we accept His gift. He sacrificed His own life to rescue us and to offer freedom in Him. But God is Love. He doesn’t force that on us. Hope and life and joy are choices we make as we either accept or turn away from what Jesus offers.

That is why Christmas is key. It is God’s love entering our world as our companion, Savior, friend, guide. My spirit felt it all as Dad read the Christmas truth in his deep pastor’s voice.

Prayer was sincere and filled with gratitude. And, when we kids were young, impatience, knowing what came next—presents. Our parents didn’t have much, but they got creative and made sure we had something to open.

I look back and feel blessed that Christmas had such deep meaning and reverence. Christmas was and is special and I can’t wait to celebrate with our family this weekend.

So exciting that this will be the first Christmas for our 10-month old youngest granddaughter.

May you know God’s love this Christmas.

Merry Christmas!

By Carolyn R Scheidies

Read more of my story in The Day Secretariat Won the Triple Crown 

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