Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Christmas Past, 1981 (part 1) I, Amanda, asked my mom to share one of my family's favorite Christmas stories. So, today and tomorrow she is guest blogging here at following an unknown path. Now, without further adieu, let my mom take you back 25 years, to the Christmas of 1981 . . . Christmastime is supposed to be a time of joy and celebration, but there was conflict in our household. My husband and I disagreed for most of our newly married four years on how we should celebrate Christmas and neither of us wanted to give up any ground. However our children were getting older (3 years and 18 months), and we needed to reach an agreement on how our young family would celebrate this season. I am the sentimental one in our family. I love the Christmas season, all of it: the lights, the tree, the presents, cookie baking, surprises and secrets, being with family and of course, celebrating the Reason for the Season – God becoming a man and dwelling among us in order to fulfill His plan of redemption. On the other hand, I don’t think my husband has a sentimental bone in his body! He is very practical, very logical, extremely well-grounded in Scripture and very matter-of-fact. This particular Christmas, he was finishing his education at seminary and had learned that most of our traditional Christmas celebrations began as pagan rituals. He would come home after seminary classes and explain to me what he had learned in class and the conflict would begin! He didn’t want our family to take part in any celebration that did not glorify God. With such a youthful intensity to do only that which glorified God, he didn’t want us to participate in some of the traditions I loved because of their original intent. Technically I agreed, I certainly didn’t want to be a part of anything that didn’t glorify God!…..but I couldn’t imagine Christmas without all the traditions I had grown up with and loved nor could I imagine not sharing those traditions with my children. After much discussion and heart searching, we decided we would keep Christmas traditions as a part of our celebration (yeah! – I could still have a Christmas tree!!), and purposefully seek to make the true meaning of Christmas the focus in our family by telling the Christmas story often to our young girls and singing religious Christmas carols with them. It was our routine to read or tell bedtime stories each night to our girls; and, during this season, the Christmas story was a much repeated favorite. Being a natural storyteller and intent on making sure his daughters knew the true Christmas story, Ken would tell the birth of Jesus with great enthusiasm and drama. We weren’t sure how much their young minds comprehended, but we were genuine in our desire to glorify God with our Christmas celebrations. Yet, Ken still was uncomfortable about having the Christmas tree and other “pagan” celebrations in our home, but God was...

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