Christmas Past (1981) (a repost)

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 . . .

my family in 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 about to give us a sign.

Come back tomorrow to find out how.
Joi (aka Amanda's mom)

This is a repost from last year.  Originally posted here.

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