By Heather Gerwing
One of my favorite things to do during the Christmas season is get up early, snuggle under a cozy fleece blanket with coffee cup in hand, and gaze at our Christmas tree as it dimly lights the room. In Michigan, more often than not the ground outside the window is covered in white, glistening snow. The peace and joy I feel as I sit there, looking at my tree in the quiet of the morning, warms my heart.
When my husband and I were first married, we decided we would collect Christmas ornaments that capture memories. With the variety and diversity of ornaments that adorn my Christmas tree, it will never be featured in a catalog. But that’s fine with me.
My Christmas tree is decorated with symbols of moments I will never forget, and every year I share fond memories with others when they ask about a particular ornament. My kids are celebrated with ornaments from grandparents, such as large, colorful bulbs with their names on them. We hang homemade ornaments the kids have made over the years, and even a few my husband made as a child.
Some of my favorites are ornaments we’ve collected as souvenirs from places we’ve visited, such as Navy Pier in Chicago, Washington D.C., and the St. Louis Arch. A big Mickey Mouse bulb helps us remember our first trip to Walt Disney World with the kids. When we decorate the tree, the kids are always eager to share a memory of their own from one of those trips. Witnessing their joy as they tell a story about one of our family vacations is something I never want to rush through, no matter how long it takes to decorate the tree.
This morning, though, as I am curled up cozily, I reflect on yesterday and the whirlwind Christmas Day can be. I look in awe at the angel that beautifully tops our tree, and I consider the role the angel of the Lord had when he announced Christ’s birth to the shepherds.
“Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord” (Luke 2:10–11 NIV).
Wow! Can you imagine having the honor of proclaiming the Lord’s birth? The weight of the message the angel shared with the shepherds out in the fields? “I bring you good news that will cause great joy for ALL people!” (emphasis added).
We have that honor. We have that privilege. As Christ followers, we have that responsibility. Yesterday we celebrated with our loved ones the greatest miracle of all time. We celebrated the birth of our Messiah. Today we need to share that good news with others, even with those we don’t know. We need to give cause for them to be filled with great joy. The joy of Christ is for everyone, every day of the year.
Heather Gerwing is a homeschooling mom of four. She is a Jersey girl at heart but now lives in Michigan with her husband Jeff and their kids. Heather enjoys reading, coffee-ing, worshipping and writing. She is passionate about her family and living the full life. You can find her at heathergerwing.com.