Belong

Why I Love Christmas…

Advent. Christmas. New Years.

I love Christmas…

There are so many reasons why…

IMG_2992

FAMILY

As I have said before, I grew up in a stable home where we were loved and taught to love others.

One of our favorite times of the year was Christmas where we spent time with extended family, surrounded by our Grandma, Aunts and Uncles and cousins of all ages.

There was always a new dress-up outfit.

There was special baking which wasn’t brought out until Christmas Eve—except for the Nanaimo Bars I snitched out of the freezer ahead of time—I’m sure my Mom knew that I did that even though she never really reprimanded me…

IMG_2639IMG_2642

There was candy.

There was the evergreen tree which was purchased and then decorated on Christmas Eve because it was real and it needed to last until New Year’s Day or so.

There were Christmas movies on television watched by the light of the tree.

Mr. Van proposed marriage to me on December 23, 1972—forty-five years ago today.

I was eighteen. He was twenty.

1972-dick-colleen.jpg

We had been dating for three years at that point, all the way through high school. Every year I can look back and celebrate those forty-some years spent together because of the decisions made that evening.

Today, we have been blessed with children and grandchildren who have made it a priority to be together most years—not always on Christmas Day, but always sometime close to the date.

Such good memories…

FUN

I love snowmen…

IMG_2627IMG_3072IMG_3074

I love the word JOY…

IMG_3050

I love creating an atmosphere of love in our home all year round, but especially at Christmas.

A couple of weeks ago, the littles were here for an afternoon. Because they are now four and almost six, they remember the Christmas décor from last year. It was so much fun to see it again through their eyes and to answer their questions about Baby Jesus and snowmen and why this and why that.

Puzzling. Games. Air Hockey Tournaments. Extended Family Visiting. Light Tours.

Such good memories…

FAITH

The belief system of my parents is Christian.

I also embraced that belief system personally, early in my life.

Because of our beliefs, the Christmas season has a deep spiritual emphasis as we celebrate the birth of Jesus as God’s Son, and as our Deliverer, the One who provides salvation and His gift of eternal life with God in heaven.

And so, I love Jesus.

I love setting out each Nativity set that I have collected over the years because each one reminds me, again, of God’s Big Story which covers all of history from before time began.

Luke 2-10-12IMG_3046IMG_3047IMG_3054IMG_3060

I also have a place in that story—in this era for a purpose on my own personal journey towards heaven.

How about you? Where are you on that journey this Christmas? Come and walk with us in these next few weeks, and maybe discover more about God’s purpose for your own pathway that can lead to Him.

MY MUSINGS THIS WEEK…

As you can tell, I have many good memories associated with Christmas, but I do also have some very sad and very hard ones as well. We all do…

Times like when our youngest son was in the hospital for eighteen days following major surgery and we came home about six days before Christmas, exhausted and almost unable to cope with all that the holidays would hold.

That was the Christmas I learned that not everyone has the privilege of experiencing this time of year to the fullest…the lesson was learned in the playroom in the hospital where many families were watching their littles fade before their very eyes and heart.

Times of bereavement and mourning at Christmastime when we walked along with family members who were in deep pain and sorrow.

Those were the Christmastimes when I was reminded to love those in my life fully, no matter how painful it might be, because we never know how long we’ll all be together here on earth.

This year that is especially true, as our dear Mama stepped into heaven on November 25—hence this period of quietness on the blog. We celebrated her life on December 4th and Christmas is different this year in ways it has never been before…

60th_Anniversary-7643

But there is joy in the midst of the sorrow and sadness as we know that she is now free of pain and discomfort, and at home with Jesus.

Our world also seems to be changing rapidly. Places where we once felt safe and enjoyed beauty are suddenly not feeling so much that way, even in our own country. It would be easy to give in to anxiety and stress and to forget to look for the moments along the way that are still safe and full of beauty, despite our circumstances.

This Christmas I am learning to live the life God has given me, enjoying the moments, but not forgetting that there are many families and individuals in the world who have never had the stability of family and fun and even faith to help them to cope with their circumstances. They would just be thankful for a good meal and a safe roof over their heads with a warm blanket for their sweet children. I am saddened by evil and sorrow and pain and tears. And it makes me wonder what God might ask of those of us who believe in Him in the near future.

Despite all of the sadness, I know that this God I believe in is Faithful. Trustworthy. Dependable. I only need to keep looking to Him and He will continue to guide my journey.

YOUR MUSINGS THIS WEEK…

I don’t know who or what you are putting your faith in today. I don’t know your circumstances. But if you believe God to be Who He says He is, then please tell Him so today. Surrender and trust your very life to Him. He loves you and desires good for you.

Enjoy the moments of this Christmas weekend as they unfold…

Can you find something to be thankful for each day, no matter what your circumstances include?

Find a way to serve others outside of your family and friends, even over these next few days. Random acts of kindness are so appreciated…

Love to you and yours…

As you celebrate with family.

As you remember those who are missing around your table.

As you reach out to someone who needs love, your kindness, and perhaps your help in some way.

Merry Christmas and a blessed New Year,

Colleen

The post “Why I Love Christmas” appeared first on colleenvannieuwkerk.com.

To receive mrsvansmusings in your inbox, just click on the Email Request button in the sidebar. We’d love to keep in touch with you in 2018…

7 thoughts on “Why I Love Christmas…”

  1. Thank you for walking us down memory lane & sharing the ups & downs of life. I enjoyed the pictures of all the beautiful decorations, the tree, the nativity scenes, the snowmen & all the presents. 😀 Duane especially liked the wood carving of the nativity scene. Did some one like your husband make that for you? Duane is into wood carvings & rock painting as he goes into his retirement the end of this month after 10 years serve at Rockpointe. He also turnes 70 on Dec 29 so a new journey begins. We saw on TV that a dear man of 95 just retired from piano turning. So anything is possible Lord willing. God Bless! Sandy

    Liked by 1 person

Comments are closed.