Saturday, December 24, 2016

Christmas Memories - 2016

This Christmas seems very different. For the last couple of days I read through two collections of Christmas stories compiled by my sister over twenty years ago. At the time we were given these we were busy raising children and involved in many activities. The first little booklet was done with a children's book for each our three older children. The second is a notebook meant for our family. Between the books which are filled with twenty-five plus stories, meant to be read one story a night leading up to Christmas Day, there were only eight repeat stories.
Here is the list from the notebook:

Come Let Us Adore Him - An Advent Calendar

1. A Brother Like That by C. Roy Angell
2. A Christmas Prayer by Robert Louis Stevenson
3. A Different Kind of Christmas
4. A Greater Power by Kenneth J. Brown
5. A Prayer of Faith by Vaughn J. Featherstone
6. Christmas Day in the Morning by Pearl S. Buck
7. Miracle of the Christmas Tree by Pearl B. Mason
8. My Christmas Miracle by Taylor Caldwell
9. No Room at the Inn by Dina Donahue
10. Pattern of Love by Jack Smith
11. Teach the Children
12. The Birthday by Margaret E. Sangster
13. The Gift of the Magi by O. Henry
14. The Little Match Girl by Hans Christian Andersen
15. The Littlest Angel by Charles Tazewell
16. The Man Who Missed Christmas by J. Edgar Park
17. The Other Wise Man by Henry Van Dyke
18. The Tale of Three Trees by Angela Elwell Hunt
19. The Travelers by Mary S. Stewart
20. The Truth About Christmas by Rex D. Pinegar
21. Then You Can Keep Christmas by Henry Van Dyke
22. Truce in the Forest 
23. Two Dimes and a Nickel by Richard A. Robb
24. Where Love Is by Leo Tolstoy
25. Why Christmas Trees are Not Perfect by Richard H. Schneider

Supplemental Stories:
A Boy Learns a Lesson by Thomas S. Monson
Christmas is for Love by Benita Lewis
Christmas is for Sharing by Richard Warner
Gifts of Self by Ardeth G. Kapp
Keeping Baby Warm by Lynda H. Laughlin
Love is a Rag Doll by John P. Sanders
Mr. Edwards Meets Santa Claus by Laura Ingalls Wilder
Mr. Jinks Hands out the Holly
The Cedar Post Christmas by Lou Joy Chapman Wilding
The Happy Prince by Oscar Wilde

The notebook has lingered in my office for some time. I was not sure what to do with it as our children are grown and living in their own places. Then I decided before putting it somewhere I should read the stories. This has been a delightful treat. Now that I have finished the notebook will now move to our Christmas collection. I hope to take the time to not only read the stories again, but to add to them new stories that I discover. The stories are not listed as found in the book. My dear sister carefully chose a picture, a scripture and a hymn to go with each story. The notebook is priceless as it was made with love.

The final story that I read was the, Gifts of Self by Ardeth G. Kapp. It is a very poignant story about a couple who stay up for several hours working on gifts for each other. Then on Christmas Day he gives her a collection of recordings of him reading scriptures, sharing his feelings about those scriptures and giving her a keep sake of him for the rest of her life. She then shares her present of a Book of Remembrance of his family history. The research she did provided a detailed collection of pictures and stories about his family and the places they lived. 

The following is a facebook post that I wrote before I started reading the stories. In reading I discovered that what has probably made this Christmas different is the steps in healing over the events of life which are so hard to deal with. I am grateful for so many things.

This feels like a very different Christmas. Maybe it is because of two times of being snowed in for a few days. Maybe it is because I have been watching sappy Christmas shows on the Hallmark Channel. Maybe it is because I have not been to church or the family history center for three weeks. Whatever it is it has brought me to realize how much the Savior has done for all of our lives and our purpose for being on the earth. For some it might seem like an invented story or a fairy tale. For me it is real and the story of the nativity is a central point of my life. We are so grateful to know the gospel of Jesus Christ and his sacrifice on our behalf. May you know the real joy of Christmas and why this is the most wonderful time of the year!

No comments:

Post a Comment