The ornament that we made to go along with today's Christmas book might have only been made of toothpicks and old Christmas cards, but it was full of sentimental value.
When I was three years old, I made the ornament pictured above with my grandma. The memory of making this ornament together is so clear in my mind. I can see us sitting at her kitchen table, carefully choosing the cards. She chose the image of a girl in a muffler for the back, because it looked like me and a stained-glass image of Mary and Jesus for the other side. I can see the picture that used to hang on her kitchen wall. I can't see her face very clearly, just her hands, but I can feel her love for me.
I no longer have to close my eyes to see the picture that she loved so much, the old man's head bowed in prayer, because it now hangs in my house.
And I don't have to close my eyes to remember that time spent together, so sweet and special to a little three-year-old girl, because the ornament that we made together hangs on my tree every Christmas.
The kids and I tried to recreate that experience today, although, let me say, my grandma must've had a lot of patience and time on her hands. Waiting for that glue to dry and keeping the kids involved was no easy task!
They were happy to do their ornaments their own way.
Scarlett's "ornament", a picture of rudolph, ended up looking like this:
The book we read was simple and sweet.
In Who Is Coming To Our House the animals are whispering about someone who is coming and they hurry around the barn to make ready for their special visitor.
In the midst of their cleaning and preparations some animals show doubt that the visitor will really come:
"But it is dark," says Cat.
"They will never come," says Rat.
"Yes, they'll come," says Mouse.
"Someone's coming to this house."
What do I like about this dialogue? It makes me think about the hope that people had from the beginning of time--hope in Christ--hope that he really would come and fulfill the promises foretold by prophets of old.
I'm sure there were times when their hope faded, times when life seemed dark, and times when doubt crept in. There must've been times when they thought, "...he will never come..."
But Jesus Christ did come.
And He will come again.
This is the hope and joy of promises fulfilled. This is Christmas.