I was so excited to see this topic come up on our Christmas blog. Thanks, Cathy, for the idea.
I think Christmas is the perfect time to share the hope that is all around us. The hope that comes from God. The hope found only in the manger, in the baby that was born to give us eternal life.
But how do you wrap that hope up in a gift?
My first thought was the wonderful gift my mother-in-law bought for us the year we had a miscarriage. I actually share this story in A Scrapbook of Christmas Firsts. It was our first Christmas after the miscarriage, and the pain still felt very raw.
One of the most painful things I found was that losing a baby to miscarriage wasn't a real pain, accepted in the real world. There is no funeral for your baby. No one says goodbye to the baby. The baby is there...and then the baby is gone.
The sun comes up...and the sun goes down...and you are expected to get up and live your life as if nothing happened.
That was difficult to do when I felt like life had been ripped out from inside me.
But I kept a lot of that pain hidden inside. I still do. People don't like you to dwell on pain, so we all tend to stuff it inside and hide it.
But that Christmas, Mike's mom gave us a beautiful ornament of an angel baby to hang on our tree to remind us of our precious baby that is in Heaven.
We hang that ornament every year, and every year we remember our baby. Yes, it makes me sad, a little. But it also makes me hopeful.
Why hope? Well, because I know where my baby is. My baby is in Heaven, safe and sound. And I know that someday, I will get to hold my baby again.
So, I guess I believe you can share that kind of hope by giving a beautiful ornament to remember someone you lost, or to share that hope with someone you know who lost someone.
Maybe a friend lost a father, or a grandfather. Maybe a neighbor lost a spouse. Maybe a friend had a miscarriage.
Pain is pain, and we all need to remember the pain and the person, and this is a wonderful way to do that.
Hope. It sometimes feels far away, like a wind on a mountain you have never felt blow, and yet you feel like you can almost catch that wind in your hands and hold onto it.
That's the hope of Christmas. The hope of Jesus. The hope you can share with someone you love this Christmas.
The more I think about our precious angel ornament, as beautiful as she is, it truly is not the gift that makes the giving so special. It's not in the gift that we see the hope.
It's in th egiver.
My mother-in-law thought about our baby, and reminded us of God's eternal love. That is the true gift of hope.