A sad part of our move this past summer was the discovery that we had lost some carefully packed Christmas items. We unintentionally left them behind in the basement of the South Omaha house. Our haste to be done with downsizing and moving is the only thing to blame for this loss. As Christmas has drawn near, I’ve had some bouts of mourning for those some of those things. They held good memories: the Santa head ornament that looked just like Poppy, the advent wreath from Benjamin, the children’s handmade Christmas stockings from our happy home schooling time in Alaska, and the endless string of wooden cranberry beads that Alan and I have strung on the tree for thirty-three Christmases.
Wow, sad story, huh? Well, yes, but like most things in life, the void created by a loss is often an opportunity to receive something new. I don’t mean making way for new stuff to replace the old stuff. Apartment living dictates some limits on acquisition. Whatever comes in the door had better be useful twelve months of the year. Thankfully, one or two Christmas items survived the move: the nativity and some old Christmas annuals that Alan purchased at a firehouse auction before we were married.
The something new is time to think about God’s blessings to me that go far beyond things, time to write some letters to myself, and time to share one of those items that was saved. It is something that shouldn’t gather dust on a coffee table at Christmas. I invite you to find a child who loves to be read to, and take some time to read this passage from Saint Luke, beautifully decorated by illustrator Lee Mero, published in the Augsburg Press annual of 1949. Share the story of Christ’s incarnation with someone you love who needs to hear.