**Originally posted 12/18/2008**
My Pastor at the church I grew up in asked me if I would give a testimony for our candlelight service on Christmas Eve. I decided I would share it with all of you as well!
What Christmas Means To Me
I spent the first 19 years of my life in the same house here in Rock Springs. Every Christmas we did the exact same wonderful traditions. On Christmas Eve we would go to the candlelight service here at church. Then it was off to Grandma’s house where we ate, sang Christmas Carols, read the Christmas story, and unwrapped a few presents. When we got back home I remember the excitement I always felt trying to fall asleep–even up to when I was in college! The next morning us kids would all wake up early, usually an hour or so before my parents told us we were “allowed” to–and go open presents. Of course the presents are everyone’s favorite part! Then in the afternoon it was back to Grandma’s house for a big turkey feast.
When I got married the dynamics of Christmas totally changed. Suddenly Christmas was one of the only times each year I got to see my family and when we came back we had to try to divide our time and attention between two families. One year I got very, very sick; and last year we weren’t able to come back at all because I was too far along in my pregnancy. This year I’m so excited to celebrate my baby Amber’s first Christmas, but sadly her daddy is in North Carolina serving his country in the Coast Guard and will have to miss it. When Christmastime comes and everything isn’t perfect or it’s not as you remembered it, it’s easy to get discouraged and upset and not enjoy it. But having these last few years I’ve learned that as much as you love traditions and spending time with family, sometimes you just have to step back from it all and look at what Christmas is really about. If you think about it, Christmas is really about sacrifice and heartache. Can you imagine how hard it was for God to send his only son to this sinful world in the form of a helpless little baby? Can you imagine how much Heaven must have missed him? Can you imagine the love God has for us that He was willing to give us that sacrifice? So this Christmas, enjoy your traditions, love your family and be thankful you can be with them, but don’t forget what Christmas really means to me–and what it should mean to you.