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Day 8 of our “12 Days of Christmas” with Missy Tippens

 

Christmastime can be busy…frantic, even to the point of becoming overwhelming. I’ve enjoyed reading the memories and holiday traditions on the blog over the last several days. But as I’m sure many of you are doing this week, I’m also struggling to process the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary. I know that several of you have also suffered personal loss—some recently.

 

If anything, I’ve been reminded to slow down, to take the time to enjoy my friends and family, to hug my kids, to lighten up on trying to provide the perfect Christmas (perfect decorations, perfect food, perfect gifts).

 

Will you join me in taking a minute to refocus and think about what’s important this holiday season?

 

My fondest childhood Christmas memory is of driving around town with my parents and sister to look at the lights and decorations. Then having dinner at Pizza Hut before heading to church for a candlelight service. We depended on that routine and looked forward to that tradition every year. If we were lucky, our parents would let us open one gift on Christmas Eve. I remember one particular gift—a leather coin purse that my dad had made for each of us. You know, I don’t think I ever actually used that coin purse. It was a little bulky, not practical, and looked more like something a man would carry. But I treasured it nonetheless because my dad took the time to make it for me, crafting it carefully by hand.

 

Special gifts don’t have to be fancy or expensive. They don’t have to be the latest and best thing out there. They just need to be from the heart, given out of a spirit of generosity.

 

And what could be a better reflection of the Christmas season than that? The season we celebrate God’s gift of the Christ Child, given freely, out of love.

 

Luke 2:8-14 (The Message):

 

There were sheepherders camping in the neighborhood. They had set night watches over their sheep. Suddenly, God’s angel stood among them and God’s glory blazed around them. They were terrified. The angel said, “Don’t be afraid. I’m here to announce a great and joyful event that is meant for everybody, worldwide: A Savior has just been born in David’s town, a Savior who is Messiah and Master. This is what you’re to look for: a baby wrapped in a blanket and lying in a manger.”

At once the angel was joined by a huge angelic choir singing God’s praises:

Glory to God in the heavenly heights,
Peace to all men and women on earth who please him.

 

I pray you have holiday season filled with love, peace and hope.

 

 

 

Missy Tippens writes inspirational romance novels for Harlequin Love Inspired. Visit Missy at www.missytippens.com.

Liz Flaherty - December 19, 2012 - 6:00 am

The memory is a powerful spirit-saver, isn’t it? Thanks for sharing yours.

Maureen Hardegree - December 19, 2012 - 8:15 am

I can picture that purse. My dad made us a dollhouse when we were little, and then a replica for Cynthia when she came along. I cherish it and those memories.

Missy Tippens - December 19, 2012 - 12:33 pm

Liz, yes it is.

Maureen, reading your memory of your dad was what reminded me of that coin purse.

Myra Johnson - December 19, 2012 - 2:08 pm

A lovely and timely reminder, Missy. My heart breaks to think of those devastated families in Newtown.

Your memory of the leather coin purse reminded me my older brother once made me a hand-tooled leather “cowgirl” belt with my name on the back! Now I wish I knew what had become of it, because it certainly would be a treasure (even though I long ago outgrew it!).

Julie Lessman - December 19, 2012 - 2:34 pm

What a beautiful memory, Missy, and I LOVE the idea of opening one present on Christmas Eve!! Wish we had done that. :)

Hugs,
Julie

cara lynn james - December 19, 2012 - 4:13 pm

Merry Christmas, Missy! I have so many wonderful memories of Christmas and a lot of them involve playing in the snow. Sledding, tobagonning, ice skating, building snow forts. Freezing. Oh yes, and way too much shoveling. It’s not quite the same in nw Florida.

Pam Hillman - December 19, 2012 - 7:12 pm

Missy, thank you so much for this reminder! You know what our church is doing this year? We’re ordering pizza for the whole gang and only bringing our favorite dessert.

No hustle and bustle of cooking all day. Just pizza and dessert: Haven’t decided what delicacy I’m making, but it’s gonna be SCRUMPTIOUS and probably chocolate!!

Audra Harders - December 19, 2012 - 10:41 pm

Aww, Missy, what a lovely memory. My cousin had created a leathercraft keychain for me one Christmas. Even though he was the biggest brat that ever walked the planet, I was touched by his gift. I still have it–thirty years later.

Thanks for sharing your holiday traditions and reminding us of the importance of season!!

Missy Tippens - December 20, 2012 - 9:07 pm

Thanks, ladies, for stopping by to comment!

Carol Burnside / Annie Rayburn - December 22, 2012 - 2:16 am

Sometimes the very best memories come from something unexpected happening. So then, why do we even try to make things ‘perfect’? We might be spoiling the potential for great memories. Great reminder to slow down and enjoy the real meaning of Christmas.

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