December 22, 2017

Readers share their favorite Christmas memories

God’s message of love is at the heart of annual celebration of Christmas

Ron Lewis

I grew up a Christmas Eve person. The most joyful parts of my family’s celebration happened on that night.

My brother and I took turns studying each beautifully wrapped package under the tree, trying to guess its contents. The house was filled with the delicious aroma of Mother’s special Christmas dinner—turkey, stuffing, cranberries, mashed potatoes and green beans. We set out cookies for Santa Claus, and carrots for the reindeer. Then, because my brother was the youngest, he was given the special job of placing the Baby Jesus in the manger scene by the Christmas tree.

Later, as we opened our presents, we shared the pure joy of being together as a family—laughing and oohing over the best gifts. I always seemed to get exactly what I hoped for—at least that’s how I remember it. We would stay up later than usual, but not too late, because we had to be in church in the morning. With warm memories of the night swirling in my head, I would fall asleep knowing that Christmas Eve was the happiest night of the year.

The message of Christmas Eve with my family was simple: You are loved. The message of Christmas for all of us is the same: God expressing how very much he loves us in one simple, but miraculous act. Giving us Jesus. That is Good News of great joy.

Once again, this Christmas I hope to receive exactly what I want—My Savior to come to Earth.

(Ron Lewis is a member of St. Anthony of Padua Parish in Clarksville and an Oblate of Saint Meinrad Archabbey in St. Meinrad.)

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