As I reflect on the joy of this season and the paramount importance of the birth of our Savior, I recently read something that has certainly helped me put things in perspective. We have all heard the familiar quote: “Christ is the reason for the season”. This particular quote put it another way: “Sin is the reason for the season”. Celebrating the birth of Jesus is a constant reminder of the enormity of our sin, and the price that was paid through God’s gift to us undeserving sinners. I have always loved “decking the halls” with gorgeous seasonal evergreens and beloved family decorations, and have equally savored the countless hours during the holidays making my favorite recipes – from my Mother’s infamous toffee and cheese straws to crafting gingerbread houses from her vintage molds. However, this year’s observance was somewhat subdued from my norm as the seasonal busyness and aesthetic preparations go, enabling me to have more time to pray, reflect, journal, and to experience His presence in new ways. More opportunities were taken to visit with friends, and to spend an evening inspired by a glorious symphony of Christmas music.
Memories are one of the greatest gifts of this joyous season. They help us truly appreciate God’s faithfulness through the years as well as help sustain us as we mourn the loss of family members who are not with us this year.
Here are a few of my seasonal favorites . . .
Pictured below are memories of family Christmases celebrated in Mississippi….
A tradition of handcrafted Gingerbread houses for family and friends . . .
I can’t take credit for the lovely display below!
Desserts embellished with seasonal flowers, herbs, greenery, fruit, and decorative chocolate leaves for gift giving ….
Nature’s gifts to us in December – Only in the deep south of Alabama . . .
Citrus trees laden with succulent fruit . . .
The delicate blooms of camellias . . .
The most important gifts of Christmas are the intangible ones brought to us by our Savior: His redeeming love, peace, joy, hope, restoration, grace, the power to forgive, to persevere and to live life fearlessly…
Start a tradition of celebrating the spirit of Christmas all year long!