Readers of The Gospel Greats Weekly Newsletter were asked to send in personal stories about favorite Christmas memories.  The original intent was to use some of them on The Gospel Greats broadcast which aired Christmas weekend, 2010.  This was, in fact, done. However, we received so many of them that we wanted to share more of them with you through this special section of our website.  Enjoy perusing these Christmas stories.  And perhaps they will bring to mind some of your own favorite Christmas memories.

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"Our family has a unique family tradition at Christmas. To make sure the children understood the true meaning of Christmas, our parents had us sing Happy Birthday to Jesus before we ate dinner on Christmas Day. It was a favorite part of our day, and we truly kept the focus where it needed to be." — Melissa C., DeQuincy, LA
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"Last year I wanted to start a new tradition, to read the Bible and tell the true Christmas story. Well, my oldest son Jeff had the same idea, but I wasn't aware at the time. When he and his wife arrived, he had brought his Bible, even though I have several. How cool was that? I'm getting older now, but I have the assurance that the Christmas story will be told to the little ones now. I pray that all my family will come to know Christ and know that if it hadn't been for the baby Jesus' birth, there would not have been a death and ressurection, or salvation and eternal life with Him. What a wonderful world, even though it is in such chaos and turmoil, where we can know we have that wonderful peace in Christ Jesus." — Linda Miley
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"My favorite Christmas memory is a tradition that was started by Mother. My Mother would show her love to her family, friends and church family by her cooking. She began baking for Christmas around Thanksgiving. There were always several tins of cookies, homemade fudge, divinity, peanut clusters, peanut brittle and much more sitting on a specially decorated table in the corner of our living room during the holidays. It became a family tradition that I would take off work Thanksgiving week, and mother and I would bake all week. Many families have shared in the goodies around the table at our home. Often, someone would request a special dish or dessert from Mother and she would lovingly make it for them.

"My beautiful Mother graduated to her eternal reward on July 9, 2009. One of the first things people spoke about at my Mother’s passing was how she loved to cook and entertain everyone, then they would sneak in a request for one of Mother’s recipes.

"I now have a two and a half year old granddaughter. I am looking forward to the day when little Emma will start the tradition with me of baking goodies during Thanksgiving week. I want to pass along her Great Grandmother’s love of cooking and blessing others with the results." — June Gibson, Columbia, MO
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"One of my favorite Christmas memories is about a simple event that occurred in 1939, when I was ten. I am the youngest of four sisters, and when it came time to sort out the gifts that Christmas morning, each of them had a huge stack of presents while I had a slim little pile. As the gifts were opened, I kept thinking how unfair it was. I had so few presents. Apparently my facial expression was read by Mary Margaret, my oldest sister. She slipped out of the living room and went upstairs. When she returned, she handed me an envelope. "I forgot to put this under the tree," she said. I looked inside. It was a five dollar bill. A five dollar bill! I had rarely had even a one dollar bill! She loved me then and she loves me now. Mary Margaret turned 90 in October and is still that same caring sister." — Shirley Comeaux, Lafayette, Louisiana
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"Because our family is scattered geographically, we aren’t always able to be together as a complete family for Christmas. For that reason, six years ago we decided that instead of exchanging gifts we would pool our money for a charity. That year we chose Mennonite Central Committee, an organization that shares God's love and compassion around the world in the name of Christ. Since then our family has continued the tradition of donating to a charity. Each year a different family unit chooses the charitable organization. When it is possible for us to be together, we still have lots of fun exchanging "white elephant" gifts and giving small stocking stuffers." — Esther Mast, Lancaster, PA
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"As a youngster I remember one Christmas when my Dad had been out of work after back surgery. He was feeling pretty low because there were ten children to provide for and we didn't have the money for much of a Christmas at all. But on Christmas Eve several men came to the door and told my dad they had some things for him from people he worked with. These men brought in boxes of fruit and groceries, as well as boxes of gifts for each of us. It is one of the few times I ever saw my dad cry. He hugged the men and thanked them repeatedly. It seems like yesterday, and 50 years later I still remember it as one of the most meaningful Christmas's we ever had, all because others took the time to share with a family that would have gone without." — Deborah Bresee
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"My favorite Christmas memory is when I was just a little girl. My dad, being a minister, always made sure that we grew up knowing what Christmas was about. On Christmas Eve Dad would get his Bible down and read the Christmas story to us. Then he would pass out the gifts. I will never forget when I received a small box of dominoes. I thought, "Wow! I got the best gift of all!" A few years later I realized that wasn’t the most important gift. Dad had already given us the best gift when he taught us what Christmas was really about. Now that we have grandchildren and great-grandchildren, we have followed tradition and the Christmas story is always read before any gifts can be opened." — Elberta Davis, Hoyleton, IL
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"Christmas will forever be a special time of the year. Mom and Dad taught and modeled for us the true meaning of Christmas, and explained that it should always be Christ centered. Although Mom and Dad have gone to heaven, we four brothers continue to carry on their legacy of living for the Christ of Christmas. Christmas day always began with breakfast and prayer and reading the Christmas story. Then we could go to the living room for our gifts. On one particular Christmas I will never forget, we went into the living room looking for our gifts and my one brother could not find his. Finally, dad brought them out in a gunny sack. Christmas was a wonderful time of laughter, fun, and so much love even though the gifts may not have been the most plentiful. We really did not know the difference because Christ and love in our family was what we needed most." — John A. Downs, Achilles, VA
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"My late husband was a pastor. One day several years ago, one of the church members called me to come over to her house. She was elderly, was living in a house that should have been condemned. In other words, she didn't have much in the way of material goods. I got there and she handed me three one dollar bills — one for my husband, one for our daughter, and one for me. It was one of the hardest things I have ever had to do — take her money when I knew she needed it much worse than we did. But I knew I had to take it. This really drove home the story Christ told of the widow's mite; some of the other members gave us for more, but I know she sacrificed to give us what she did; I will never forget that Christmas or that lady." — Linda Culbreath
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"I'll never forget the Christmas, years ago, when I wasn't able to drive to my parents house to join the family for Christmas and a family from my church invited me to their house for Christmas Eve. Their family did their gift giving on Christmas Eve and while I didn't have a gift to give them, I received a small gift during their exchange, a refrigerator magnet with a little, hand-crafted bear holding a tile which had the saying "Jesus is the reason for the season" written on it. I had never before understood the blessing of just receiving with nothing to give in return. I was moved by this family's love and generosity to the point that I now look for opportunities to bless others in the same way." — Stephanie Hanouw


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