Like it or not, Christmas usually stirs up lots of memories. I happen to like it because most of my memories are good. Here's one of my favorites.
It was the Christmas of 1985 and my firstborn, Jessica, was two years and four months old. I wondered if she would remember any of the things I tried to teach her the previous Christmas. She was only sixteen months at the time, so I wasn't sure she'd retain much of the story of Jesus' birth. But I told her about it anyway. We talked of birthdays and babies and how much God loved us. I showed her the nativity set and told her who each person was. I quizzed her almost daily about who that baby was. She quickly learned to reply, "Baby Jesus!"
So this year as I unwrapped the ceramic figures and lovingly placed them in the stable, she looked on with restrained excitement.
"This is Mary, the mama," I reminded her. "And this is Joseph, the daddy."
I took the baby from its protective cocoon and set him in front of Mary and Joseph. "Here's the baby."
She looked at me expectantly.
"Do you remember His name?"
Her brown eyes sparkled, a smile lit up her face. "Yes!"
A sizzle of excitement ran through me. She remembers! "You do? What is it?"
Well, not exactly what I hoped she'd say, but we've laughed about it ever since. By the end of that Christmas season she had it down pat and has never forgotten again. Now she teaches her own children about the Christ child and His miraculous birth.
Do you have a special Christmas story you like to retell? Share it with your family this year for old time's sake.