With each conversation I knew.
It’s the little things in life.
A simple five minute phone call can change an entire day for those we love.
And, if you listen closely, with your heart, you can hear it in their voice. It’s more than simply a conversation, it’s so much more actually.
It’s concern. It’s compassion. It’s a caring that sometimes seems forgotten in this world.
They eagerly hang on to every word and graciously thank you for calling.
Their lives remind us of years of Christmases.
Of laughter around their table as we enjoyed one homemade dish after another prepared with love. You could rest assured that everyone’s favorites would always find their way to the table.
Of song after song sung as the piano played carol after carol. Some offkey, but always resonating love and the celebration of family.
Of gifts and neighbors and community and sharing.
The beauty of the season.
All the sights and sounds and even smells of Christmases past, but still so familiar.
One simple reminder can carry us back over years of Christmas memories.
Yes, grandmothers make up their own precious stories of Advent.
Some remind us of carols door-to-door or a chilly Christmas tree hunt to the farm with hot chocolate waiting when we returned.
Others bring memories of gift boxes with fruit and goodies for the less fortunate and an extra plate sent if they couldn’t join us in person.
There were stockings for each grandbaby and a special place at ‘the kids’ table’ for each precious child.
And, of course, many memories of them awake early and up late to make sure every detail was taken care of for each special holiday or occasion.
The beautiful white tablecloths and specially designed centerpieces were an added bonus.
But, some of our most precious Christmas memories don’t revolve around food or gifts, but rather the examples of faith they set before us.
Through their love, encouragement and prayers, we are who we are.
And, in some small way, our lives reflect all those influences. And, them.
Many of our grandmothers have touched our lives for all eternity.
Leaving a legacy that far surpasses any gift that could be bought.
Really, we all know the greatest gifts are experienced, not paid for.
And, the true gift we can give this year is that of ourselves. Not one purchased in a store, but rather one of the heart nature.
Something personally sacrificed.
Sounds a lot like the true Christmas gift of long ago.
Yes, today we called to try and bless the two great-grandmothers my boys still have, and just like every other time we have talked to them, they blessed us instead.
On the other end of the line we could hear the excitement in their voices just by hearing our hellos. How special is that?
And, the lights and garland and goodies always seem to pale in comparison to those who represent the heart of Christmases past.
And, the heart of our families.
For all the Christmas memories past and for all those still to come, Father, we are grateful. Give us eyes to see those closest to us as you do. Help us remember the reason of it all by remembering others this Advent season. May our time be spent on those who need your love most, as we celebrate the precious gift of grace and love here on earth.
Thank you, Father.
For His perfect grace.
And, for grandmothers.
Such beautiful gifts of Christmas.