Thank you, Cheryl, for inviting me to your Christmas Tree Tour, 2016.
Christmas is dear to my heart. Moving about as we have over the last 40+ years, decorating our homes invokes memories of Christmases past…from our childhoods, to our parenting days, to missing those who “have gone before us.” Our nest is empty now. We live 500 miles away from any family. It would be easy to not hang a single light or put up the tree because it’s just the two of us. However, I’ve come to realize decorating the house to celebrate Jesus is not for others, but for me, for my husband, for our hearts to remember. Mary treasured and pondered (Luke 2:19)
Most of my Christmas ornaments are memories. Some homemade by our children and grandchildren, some gifts from friends, and some from special times (places we’ve lived). In moving my elderly mother last year, I inherited (kept) a few cherished pieces from my childhood including plus a few of those glitter and glue ones, as well as my Grandmother’s homemade cardboard covered with aluminum foil tree-topper star! Wise men still follow the Star
My husband brought outdoor decorating into my life. Growing up, we never hung anything outside; maybe a string of lights on the inside of a window frame, but never actually outside. His tradition when our sons were young was to wait until the most ugly weather day – icy rainy ones were the usual. Age has taught him differently…along with not having his boys around to help. “Let your light so shine…” (Matthew 5:16)
Precious childhood memories… lying under the lighted tree peering up through the branches… driving my mom crazy as she tried to teach me how to apply tinsel… making ornaments with glitter and glue…receiving cards and letters from people I didn’t even know… my grandmother, my only living grandparent, coming to our house early Christmas morning… and singing…
Singing Christmas carols is my most cherished tradition… more treasured to me than any gifts received. Singing at school, for church programs, midnight cantatas, caroling… Sing to Him, sing praises to Him; speak of all His wonders (1 Chronicles 16:9)
Praising the LORD… celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ, Savior of the world… “Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.” (Isaiah 9:6)
I leave you with glad tidings of comfort and joy…Good News of peace on Earth “…Remember Christ, our Savior, was born on Christmas day, to save us all from Satan’s power when we were gone astray…” (God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen)
Merrie Hansen and her husband of 40+ years have called Nebraska, Texas, Alaska, Missouri, Kansas, Montana, and currently, Colorado home. It is from those moves and her experience as a wife, mother, grandmother, daughter, sister, friend…singer, backpacker, roller skater, homeschool mom, volunteer...which she writes devotionals to challenge, encourage, & inspire others on their journey to Live-Out-Loud-for-Jesus.
Some of her work can be found in “The Secret Place,” “Just Between You & Me,” and CrossRiver Media’s devotional compilation books, “The Benefit Package” and “Abba’s Promise.”
Merrie can be found lettin’ the light of Jesus shine from her life at www.MerrieHansen.com or Facebook.com/MerrieHansen (Matthew 5:16)