23 Days Until Christmas

One of the joys of having my in-laws staying with us for a week is the opportunity to share and learn. We have several boxes of Christmas decorations that they used before they went to Mongolia as missionaries, and I never knew the story behind many of them. So they stayed wrapped up and tucked away.

But this week they all came out - the living room floor was covered with ornaments, garland, candles and bows. We cleaned, we laughed, we hung a few, sorted out a few and repacked a few. And the best part was the stories...

I got to learn about my husband as a child. I heard memories of a family I haven't been part of for very long. I caught up on family history, grew in my knowledge of world cultures and solidified my relationship with a precious Christian woman - all through a few boxes of Christmas decorations. Pieces that I thought were outdated and musty suddenly had a history and meaning to go with them.

Perhaps you have already finished your decorating for this holiday season. Or maybe you're still trying to work up the motivations to pull the boxes down. Either way, I encourage you to make this time of Advent one of saving precious memories.

As you hang ornaments and set out decorations, record the story behind them. Designate a recorder in the family, take pictures and write down stories. Or shoot a video of each family member displaying their favorite piece and explaining why. These times will fly by, and if there is no record of your Christmas past, Christmas future won't have the blessing of those memories.

Advent is a time to combine the wonderful memories of the past with the anticipation of the future. Each moment is a blessing, and sharing those moments with loved ones - sharing your memories and your history - is the most precious gift of all.


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