Christmas has changed a great deal since the early days of our marriage. Because we had two full-time professional careers and a marriage later in our twenties, our first home made quite an impression at Christmas. I loved the soaring ceilings that accommodated giant wreaths and a tree that required a ladder to decorate. Not to mention the other decorated trees and long strands of garland interspersed throughout the house. I loved every bit of it.

As we added a giant Labrador then two children, the Christmas trees and garland became simpler, but still grand. However, in the last few years Christmastime has become sparse and far less spectacular. A change to a smaller home with short ceilings and very little room for decorations, much less storing them, has forced me to give away much of what I once cherished about the season. On top of that, just days before our first Christmas in our new city and home, Rachel was diagnosed with autism and my ailing father with cancer shortly thereafter. I remember little of that year. I think I put up a small tree.

So, here we are again. Christmas is upon us. With all the changes in my life, the season isn’t about the aesthetics any longer. Christmas has become more about reflection on the gift that can’t be destroyed and is never too big or little for a house. Jesus is the greatest gift, and in Him we have hope.

Merry Christmas, sisters.