I took one of those silly quizzes on facebook recently. It was called "What Christmas Song are You?" (I said it was silly!) Turns out I'm "The Christmas Song," better known as "Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire." The explanation goes on to say that I love old-fashioned things and nostalgia and all that. Well, yes! It is Christmas, right? Don't most of us turn nostalgic at Christmas?
I was going through my Christmas cards (I do love getting Christmas cards--the real kind that come inside an envelope and appear in my mailbox this time of year--my actual mailbox, out by the road.) and it is remarkable how many of them feature scenes from the past or very rural settings. Julie Baumgardner's column in Sunday's paper is headlined, "Take a holiday trip down memory lane." More nostalgia.
I have some wonderful Christmas memories: standing up to say my lines in the church Christmas program, shopping for my mom and dad with money they gave me, trudging through the snow to see what the neighbors got for Christmas. Thinking about the past may seem unrealistic and impractical to some, but it's not all bad. God commanded his people, in fact, to remember. He even had them set up stones to bring to mind the things he had done for them so that they could pass along to their children the stories of his faithfulness.
Deuteronomy 32:7 says, "Remember the days of old, consider the years of many generations: ask thy father, and he will show thee. . ." The psalmist, in Psalm 77:11, records "I will remember the works of the LORD: surely I will remember thy works of old." There are times when recalling God's past goodness increases our faith and helps us through a difficult day.
This week will be a wonderful time to remember past years and good times with friends and family. It will also be an opportunity for most of us to make more sweet memories. Let's remember, too, that there are around us people who might require help creating good times to store up for the future. With God's help, we can be the hands and feet of Jesus to spread love and cheer where it is most needed this Christmas.