Thursday, December 5, 2013

Advent Journey: On Remembering

Christmas is full of memories. At some point over the season, we will talk about how things used to be. Remember when....? With the current "retro" obsession we have right now, I am constantly being reminded of the Christmases of my childhood. I can scarcely open a magazine or read a blog without seeing something that I recognise from those days. I still have a few things myself - the original Christmas tree fairy from my parents' home, a fabulous black party dress from the 1980s, and this handsome chap in the picture. This is Bernie, one of my very first Christmas presents, and he's been with me ever since. We've done a lot together over the years, Bernie and I - he took the place of a pet dog as I was growing up - his kind face always seemed so understanding. I  remember trying to make my fortune with him, selling rides to the neighbourhood children - a penny to the nearest lamppost, tuppence to the end of the street. I loved him as if he was a real dog -  and to me he was.  When I grew up, my children played with him too - although I do remember Karen crashing into the doorstep and breaking a tooth! Now he is still here with us - a wee bit weather beaten, but always making me smile whenever I see him

Dental emergencies aside - I am lucky that my childhood  memories are happy ones. But, now that the years have moved on - particularly with my mother's passing, they have a bittersweet edge and I can feel homesick for a time and place that is no longer there. We bring all kinds of memories with us on this life journey:  happy, sad, poignant, long forgotten and half buried. We have been shaped and moulded by these past experiences, and in their assimilation we become who we are.

Advent is about memory. As we progress through the days towards Christmas, we remember why we are celebrating. The birth of the Saviour - the coming of Hope to a troubled world. We commemorate the Nativity by coming together to watch our children in those familiar plays and pageants, sing well-loved carols and celebrate with each other. But it is also a time to look forward to His coming - to remember God's loving promise - that He will always be with us.


  1. I love that you've shared this. We celebrate advent as well... our weekly themes are simple (for my children's sake); grace, hope, faith, and joy. I like that you mentioned the looking forward to His coming again... such a critical part of advent.

    Wishing you a lovely day.

  2. Ah, you have one of those children as well, the kind that break teeth, my son did that twice, he has a very expensive mouth to date. Memories are what tug at my heart. My mom my youth and thankfully I have a sister who can engage in the "remember when" stories. My dad as well but a sibling is so much better. You know our children will do the same, and so with theirs and down it goes through the generations.

  3. Your words are so moving...I look forward each day to your post, as you share with us.

  4. It is easier to dwell on our regrets rather than looking forward to new beginnings with better choices to be made.


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