I was 16 when I experienced my first ‘real’ Christmas. Prior to that, I wasn’t allowed to acknowledge Christmas…or any other holiday. You see, I grew up in a Jehovah’s Witness home. Aside from Christmas, I was not permitted to participate in Birthdays, Halloween, Independence Day, Easter, Valentine’s day, or any other celebrations at school or home. I even had to sit down during the Pledge of Allegiance.
In the Winter of 1987, God came into my life in a very real way. In an instant, faith became so much more than mere religion. That Christmas, all I asked my parents for was a black, leather-bound KJV Bible. Understand, I was known for giving my parents a list of around 100 items when it came to gifts. I still have that Bible. It’s a reminder to me of a very special time in my life.
So, my first ‘real’ Christmas was a true revelation. All of a sudden, songs like Away in a Manger, Joy to the World, Silent Night, and Oh Holy Night came to life. They had meaning. I had heard these song on the radio and in grocery stores, so I knew the words. But now that I had heard the true Gospel, these songs tangibly connected me to God.
How about you? What is your most meaningful memory of Christmas? How is this special holiday season special to you?