My parent’s met in Germany and my Dad comes from German roots. I feel a great connection to many German things and several of them come out all the more at Christmastime. Nutcrackers are a big one for me and I love how each one I see reminds me of home, family, and heritage.
This is a Weihnachtspyramide, or a Christmas Pyramid (though I thought of it as just “the pretty little angel Christmas carousel” growing up). My Mom had one of these lovely little Christmas treasures when I was a girl. I thought it was simply magical. We very rarely light the candles that would put off enough hot air flow to turn the delicate blades. But I spent many hours kneeling on our brown padded piano bench, just so that I could reach to blow and blow on it where it sat in its relative place of honor on the top of our piano. This and so many other simple, small, and otherwise insignificant memories are the treasure that can’t be purchased from a store and wrapped in shiny red foil paper. However, those are the things that inspire me still 20 years later and will for 20 more.
I realize that with Christmas looming closer and closer now, many people are thinking about what they can give to the various special people that fill their lives with joy and gladness all year long. I am no different. Plus, I LOVE Christmas! It is my VERY favorite holiday. I love the peace that seems to permeate into corners of the world where there might otherwise be frustration, hardness, and even anger.
I love how much each of the symbols of Christmas help me to remember my Savior and His miraculous birth and the incredible life He lived. It brings His example to mind and helps me remember how I should be living – filled with charity towards my fellow man. It fills me with hope in a world that is sometimes so crushing in the absolute void of hope that it offers. I yearn for that feeling to last as long through the year as imaginably possible. I put my tree up early and leave it up as long as we can handle giving up that much floor space to it. (Last year, I am fairly sure we took it down when we couldn’t figure out what to put on it for St. Patrick’s Day!) Each of my children have their very own nativity sets and we all enjoy using them to tell and re-tell and re-tell the amazingly wondrous story. A story that is more than a fairy tale because it actually happened. Not only did it happen, but its effects are profound and real in each person’s life. My kids love making up plays to act out various parts of the story as well as a host of stories from after the baby was born. They will go through the learning years of when Jesus was a boy and the years He spent in His mortal ministry healing, blessing, and teaching those He came in contact with. Our faith, our strength, and our love are all built with incredible depth as we spend our play-time filled with thought about our Savior’s life.
When we are not re-enacting the Christmas story, we are filling our time with the making of gifts, decorations, and goodies. I decided that from now until Christmas, I am going to attempt to make myself share, with whoever might stumble upon this blog, those things we decide to embark on. I would imagine, that much of what we do will be nothing new to many. That’s wonderful! Please feel free and take the time to share your stories of similar moments of Christmas gladness with the rest of us in the comments sections on each blog post. Perhaps you will add a new twist to the idea or just bring back wonderful old memories that we sometimes need to wrap up in to keep warm from the occasional chill of daily living. I will share a variety of the gifts and pleasures of this season as a means to never forget how richly blessed I truly am and how wondrous it is to share all the gifts I have been given in my meager attempt to make someone else’s day a little brighter. I want to – no I have to – look outside of myself more and Christmas is just what the Doctor ordered for me right now.
Let the joy, peace, love, and gladness fill your hearts as you approach this season that is meant to do just that. Work to stay out of the pit of self criticism or frustration when you can’t do everything for everyone that you would like to. There are Christmases ahead to fill with what you can’t do today or at all this season. Celebrate each precious opportunity to bless and to serve and to share. Each one is a jewel. Take the time to notice. Take the time to share and remember.
And truly, as Tiny Tim said, “God bless us, everyone.”
The Weihnachtspyramide image is licensed under a CC-BY-SA license.