This is one of my favorite Christmas pictures. One of the last we had with mom before she passed on. She was very much on my mind this time of year. We miss her.

Christmas always brings a mixture of memories and feelings for me. A number of years ago some of us were watching a Statler Brothers Christmas program and the question was posed to them as to what the best and worst Christmas was that they had ever experienced.

Someone said that was unrealistic because who would know the answer to that question?

I did know the answer.

My worst Christmas was when I lost my only sibling, my brother Trent at Christmas time only a few months after my father had passed on. I had to fight my way home that year on highways that were closed because of snow. When the highway patrol flagged me down and said I couldn’t go I asked if they were making me stop? They said they couldn’t do that but I told them there was no way I was going to let mom be alone on her first Christmas without dad. I made it but it was tough, then to get the news about Trent on top of that? Wasn’t much Christmas cheer that year.

The best one? Just as easy. I got the chance to sit in a candlelight Christmas Eve service at the First Baptist Church in Orange, Texas, and watch both of my kids get get baptized. I can still smell the pine garlands in the windows heated by the candles and giving off a smell I still associate with Christmas. The congregation was all holding candles as well and the tears in my eyes made pinpoints of all of those delicate lights to give the scene a magical appearance. That was many, many years ago and I can still call it to mind as if it only happened yesterday.

Perhaps everyone has a best and worst, I do know that sometimes it can be a difficult time of year. If you have a ‘worst’ I really hope you had a faith base where the comforter was there for you to see you through it as mother and I had. And I know you had a ‘best’ and in all honesty I hope you’ve had so many that it is hard to decide which one.

As for this year? I hope you have a happy and joyous celebration of the birth of our Lord.