DECEMBER 9, 2020    

I am sure one of my favorite Christmas memories did not start off as a favorite memory for my grandparents. As in most households, decorating the Christmas tree turned into a stressful time for my grandparents. Our family always visited these grandparents on Christmas Eve after we attended a Moravian Love Feast service.

I vividly remember this one Christmas Eve when we arrived at my grandparents’ house. Pam and I went into the living room to see the tree with all of the presents under it. To our surprise, the living room was treeless. We were both confused and upset not to see a decorated tree with presents under it. My grandfather explained to the family that the decorating of the tree had led to harsh words and hurt feelings, which caused him to refuse to continue. Instead, he had dragged the tree to the back of the house and returned to the living room, where he took a string of lights and wrapped them around an ottoman.

Sure enough, when we went back to the living room, there was an ottoman with Christmas lights wrapped around it. My family brought our presents in and arranged them around the stool and the Christmas festivities continued as normal.

To this day, any time the Christmas season causes stressful times for my family, I always threaten to remove the tree and decorate the ottoman. I can promise that neither Pam nor I will ever forget this unique Christmas Eve. A nicely decorated tree is definitely not the most important part of Christmas!

Mike Lanning 

Click here to see the complete 2020 Advent Devotional booklet.