Tonight I listened to “White Christmas” by Bing Crosby with my wife and kids as we went about our evening. Has to be queued up at least once each Christmas season. It was a staple on the drive to Grandma and Grandpa’s house back when my brother and sister and I would pile into the backseat and my parents would make the eight-hour trip from the Snoqualmie Valley to Coos Bay, Oregon.
Listening to it now brings back intense images of my grandparents’ house, their church (and especially that church basement where we spent so many Christmas days), the smell of woodsmoke from Grandpa’s chimney, the cold, clean salt breeze off the ocean, and the taste of Grandma’s krumkake.
Christmas in Coos Bay still holds a lot of meaning for me, though I haven’t been there for years.
The thing that stands out most in my memories is how much of Christmas revolved around Christ. Maybe that doesn’t sound very profound, or maybe that seems like exactly the thing a minister would say. But really, when you think about how inundated we are at this time of year with so many things to distract us from the simple message of the manger, I consider it a blessing that the most powerful Christmas memories I have focus on Jesus.