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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"Two years ago my husband, my sister, and myself spent a very special Christmas day with my dad. On November 5, 2008 as we took his to a restaurant for his birthday, he began to choke, and had to leave and take him back home. As time passed on, his health deteriated and he spent time in the hospital. On Christmas day 2008 we made arrangements to spend the entire day with my dad in his room at the nursing home. We were all together, reminiscing of pleasant times in the past. We exchanged no gifts that year, but chose just to be together. My dad passed to Heaven on Dec. 30, 2008. The last song that we sang to him he also sang with us, "What a Day That Will Be." Christmas was always special in our home growing up and the Lord had blessed me with a wonderful Christian husband and family to celebrate with. Christ is the center of Christmas!" — Jeanette Bates, KS
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"Christmas has always been a special time for me especially raising two boys! My oldest son is now 45, and in 1978, the Lord called home my youngest son at age 10. I began listening to the beautiful songs of Doug Oldham who has touched my heart and soul. Just this year, the Lord called home his faithful servant, and I can hear Doug's voice singing in the heavenly choir!

"My heart will rejoice again this Christmas as I listen to Doug's song, "Come on Ring Those Bells", as our family gathers together to honor the birth of our Lord Jesus." — Carol Johnson, Englewood, CO
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"It was a Christmas Eve service at my church a couple years ago that changed Christmas for me. Our pastor's message was about the sacrifice of Christ's birth: Jesus left the glories of heaven to come to the dust of the earth, He left the praises of angels to be welcomed by animals in a smelly stable, He descended from King of the world to a helpless baby lying in an animal trough. It was that year that I realized that Jesus did not only sacrifice when he gave His life for us, but when He entered the world for us! The song 'Welcome To Our World' by Scott Fowler and Legacy Five became very special to me that year, because it described what I learned that Christmas." — Emily Mudde
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"Christmas became extra special to me after I got saved. For the first 30 years of my life I didn't know that the greatest gift on earth came from Heaven, nor did I know it was a person. Becoming a child of God, Christmas took on a whole new meaning. It wasn't until this year that I heard a song that so perfectly put into words what I had been trying to communicate. That song is "Grace Has a Face" by Greater Vision. I am so grateful to God for staying with me for the first 30 years of my life so that I could enjoy being His child." — Karen Page
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"For quite some time, I had lost the Christmas "spirit". My maternal grandfather died on December 22, 1985 and 11 years later, my Dad died on December 23, 1996. Because I had lost two of the most important men in my life around that special time of year, I found it hard to find the joy of the Christmas season.

"The night before my Dad died, my Mom and I were in the car together after leaving the hospital and we were listening to the Bishops' song, "You Can't Ask Too Much Of My God" and praying for the miracle the songs speaks about. The next day when Dad passed on, we didn't get our selfish miracle of him remaining with us, but felt he got his miracle of "ultimate healing" in finishing his race.

"Fast forward another almost 10 years to August 29, 2006 when my son, Eli, was born. Not long after leaving the hospital following Eli's arrival, I turned on the radio to hear, you guessed it, "You Can't Ask Too Much Of My God!" To me, that was God's way of reminding me that he is in control of every situation and with the birth of my own son, it made the following Christmas season, and each one since, more joyous than ever before. So every time I hear that classic Bishops song, it remindsme of the Christmas season and the real reason we should be celebrating with all of our focus on Him and not on ourselves." — Chris Champion
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"In the mid 70's, we were on our way to our grandparents' house on Christmas morning, when we came upon a well-known elderly gentleman from our small community. He was known to frequently walk the roads when he needed to go somewhere. My father stopped to ask him if he would like a ride somewhere. He replied that he was just walking and didn't know where he was going for the day, since he had no close family to spend the day with. Dad then asked him if he would like to go with us for the day. His face brightened and said that sounded good to him. We children shifted places in the old station wagon and took him with us. The rest of the family welcomed him too, and even managed to come up with a Christmas present of fruit for him to take home when it came time to leave. I remember the look on his face and the sincerity of his thankfulness when we took him home that evening. We learned about sharing that day-- that even a small gesture goes a long way to helping someone feel loved!" — Sharon Botkin, Bridgewater, VA
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"When I was a young boy, about seven or eight years old, Christmas fell on a Sunday. My dad insisted we go to church that day. I can still see all my friends out playing with their new toys having a great time as we left for church. At the time I thought my parents were the meanest around. Now I am a grown man of 62 years and my parents have gone on to be with the Lord. When I look back today on that Sunday I get tears in my eyes just thinking how much my parents loved me and wanted me to be raised in the ways of the Lord. I was truly blessed to have Christian parents and I miss them more and more every day." — Roy Hunt
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"At age five I remember rehearsing "O Holy Night" over and over as a solo for the annual church Christmas service. I went to the church one evening for "dress rehearsal" and on that night I came up to the mike as I had been doing many times, and all the lights instantly dropped to dark except the spotlight blasting into my face. Not knowing about lighting, I thought the lights went out accidentally, and it frightened me so badly that I ran down the platform stairs, down the long dark aisle of the church, out the front entry, down the steps and across the street to my home and my mother's arms. I know I recovered, because I have sung it many times since and to this day "O Holy Night" is my favourite Christmas song." — Rose Mary Garbers, TX
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"I'll never forget the Christmas when our oldest granddaughter and I shared a song with our church family. It was during a Christmas Eve service that we shared "The Christmas Shoes." The lights were dim and as she stood there, holding a shoe box and singing, the glow of candles took on a new look through the tears in everyone's eyes and the real meaning of Christmas just seemed to radiate through the whole building." — Robert McGuire
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"When I was 18 years old, it was Christmas day and my mother discovered that she was missing an ingredient for the meal she was preparing. She got some money from her purse and told me to go to and get what she needed. I found the ingredient that my mother needed and as I stood in line to pay I noticed a girl about my age trying to purchase a six pack of Coke and saw that she didn’t have enough to pay for it. She was sharing with the cashier that the Coke was a treat for her family because they were unable to buy a lot of Coke due to their lack of money. Unfortunately she had to leave the Coke behind. As I watched her go out the door, I felt very bad for her. After I got in my car and started home, I saw the young girl walking down the sidewalk with her head hung low. Suddenly I felt in my spirit to roll my window down and summon her over. I took my wallet out, gave her money and told her to go buy the Coke. I wished her Merry Christmas. The young girl’s face lit up like a well lit Christmas tree and she thanked me with the deepest, most heartfelt way that she could and turned and headed back for the store. As I drove off I realized that I have just experienced the true meaning of giving at Christmas, giving to someone who was truly in need, out of my own need. To this day I have still held on to that Christmas Day!" — Gerald Cooper


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