When was the First Christmas?

IMG_0217 crop_resizeIn 1981 following the death of my Father and mt Grandmother I wrote the following:

When was the First Christmas? It is being celebrated this year, last year, next year. . .

The First Christmas away from home…with the feelings of loneliness and the adventure of being on your own; hoping to spend the day with a friend

The First Christmas after learning that a loved one has a terminal illness…. trying to make this the best Christmas ever, to be able to hold onto it next year and for the years to come.

The First Christmas for a child, with toys that are too large, and an understanding not yet developed, but with a magic that will never be forgotten.

The bittersweet First Christmas following a separation or divorce… the feeling of freedom, looking for new roots, trying to forget and yet still remember.

That joyful First Christmas you share with the special person in your life… knowing that you will have these memories forever

The First Christmas following your discovery of Santa’s identity…disappointment, triumph, the first tastes of growing up.

That difficult first Christmas after the death of a husband or wife, child or parent.., looking ahead, trying to diminish the grief; warming the cold you feel by the fires of memories of better times and Christmases past.

Each Christmas is the re-creation of that very First Christmas in the stable… where hope was born into the midst of poverty and confusion… Where hope and expectation gave birth to life, and that life gives meaning to the lives of others…

Each Christmas is the First Christmas,
Hope born anew… Light re-entering the dim world to help us see our way….

May the grace and Blessing of Christmas be your this and every Christmas.

About don

The Rev Don Hill is an Episcopal priest, rail fan and writer. He and his wife the Rev. Dr. Nancy Woodworth-Hill are currently Co-Pastors of St Paul's Episcopal Church, Jeffersonville IN, in the Diocese of Indianapolis. They also work as parish consultants in Appreciative Inquiry, strategic planning and spirituality development for parishes and vestries.
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