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My mother had several items from her childhood that were a part of our Christmas decorations each year. Her ornaments, circa 1930, were old and brittle, so they were always hung at the top of the tree. The felt ornaments looked like, as my dad always said, “dried up rats,” but they were nevertheless hung each year. Her Teddy Bear, Teddy, and his little dog friend, Harold, sat together on an ancient toy-sized bench, each with a red bow around his neck.

This will be our first Christmas without our mother. It will likely be a little less jolly, but you can bet that those ornaments will be at the top of the tree, and that Teddy and Harold will wear their scarves. Mom will be in our hearts this Christmas, and I know we will each find time to celebrate her.

As I look through the items that I have written for this Advent Calendar, I realize that many of them are about my mother. Certainly, she is on my mind and in my heart these days. I hope you will not be off-put by all of the stories about her!

Find a way to celebrate, honor, and remember those who won’t be with you this Christmas.

Read: John 11:25-26