Whether we realize it or not, we create Christmas memories with each passing year. They are the things that linger – not the gifts received or the decorations we fret over. Yvonne Ortega’s story touched my heart and I have asked her to share it here during our Treasure the Quiet Moments series. I hope it blesses you too.
Special Memories of Christmas
When my son was little, my heart’s desire was that he would understand why Christians celebrate Christmas. I determined we would treasure the Christmas season. We wouldn’t rush from store to store or from one social event to another.
The four weeks before Christmas, we would light the Advent wreath candle each evening and pray together. I would read a Bible story to him from his children’s Bible, and we would talk about it.
I placed one Nativity set under the Christmas tree, and the larger one on the coffee table. Visions of my son arranging and re-arranging Mary, Joseph, baby Jesus, and the other figurines still brighten my day. He would carry on a conversation with them, as if they were sitting on the floor with him.
Soft Christian carols played in the background as we made Christmas cookies. However, we didn’t use ordinary cookie cutters. I bought nativity set cookie cutters when my son was two years old. Each year, we would talk about Mary, Joseph, baby Jesus, the shepherds, the Wise Men, the cattle, the sheep, the angel, and the manger as we rolled out the cookie dough and made Christmas cookies.
Incidentally, you can still buy Nativity set cookie cutters on Amazon.
Every day during the Christmas season, I played traditional carols on the piano or the autoharp, and the two of us sang.
We joined the Bible Memory Association and Bible Study Fellowship when he was two years old. At that time, the children learned the verses in the King James Version. I wish I had recorded my son at age three saying Luke 2:11: “For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord.”
My son knew on Christmas we would celebrate the birthday of Jesus Christ. I would bake a cake for Jesus. We would frost it together, and he would place a candle on the cake. Before we ate Christmas dinner, we would sing Happy Birthday to Jesus.
When my son was four years old, we went to the Annual Christmas program at church. Prior to the program, he had invited Jesus Christ into his life. When the program ended, he said, “Mama, why didn’t the pastor give an invitation?”
I said, “I don’t know, but there he is. Ask him.”
My little child walked up to the 6’ pastor, looked up at him, and said, “Why didn’t you give an invitation? I wanted everyone to know I invited Jesus into my life, even King Herod.”
The pastor said, “I didn’t do it because of the Christmas program. From now on I will always give an invitation no matter what.”
Six years ago, my precious son passed away unexpectedly after surgery. I miss him and the celebration of our Christmas traditions together. I’m so thankful I took the time to create special memories of Christmas with him.
Copyright © by Yvonne Ortega November 20, 2015
How can you be more intentional about creating memories this year?
Yvonne Ortega is a Licensed Professional Counselor, Licensed Substance Abuse Treatment Practitioner, Clinically Certified Domestic Violence Counselor, bilingual professional speaker, and a Certified World Class Speaking Coach. She is the author of Moving from Broken to Beautiful: 9 Life Lessons to Help You Move Forward and Finding Hope for Your Journey through Breast Cancer (Revell). Yvonne is a member of the Advanced Writers and Speakers Association and the National Speakers Association. She is also an Area Director in Toastmasters International. She helps adults in moving from broken to beautiful through life’s challenges and transitions. Her website is www.yvonneortega.com.
Be sure to leave a comment to be entered in our drawing for our Christmas sign.
Must be shipped to a lower 48 state mailing address. Receive entries for every comment on our series posts, sharing on social media (be sure to tell me) and for subscribing to my blog and ministry newsletter.
Yvonne’s books are available at Amazon:
These Amazon affiliate offerings are suggested because of their connection to my blog content. As an affiliate, when you order anything from Amazon by clicking through one of these links, a small percentage helps to fund my web content. Thank you