What Is Your Favorite Christmas Story?

         The warm, feel-good stories shared at Christmastime enhance our celebration and prepare us to adore Him. The original Christmas story, recorded in Luke 2:1-20, can’t be topped. Yet, other stories, some from real life, others that are fiction, help us focus on the Gift God gave and the love He demonstrated.

          For instance, giving Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes has become a major part of the festive season for many. Tyrel Wolfe was a seven-year-old living in Idaho when he packed a shoebox. He enclosed a picture of himself. The box was eventually given to eight-year-old Joana in the Philippines. Through the box, she heard a presentation of the Gospel and received Jesus as her Savior.

          Her father also trusted Christ and eventually became a pastor. Joana wrote a letter to Tyrel, explaining how his gift had impacted her family. He never received it. Eleven years later, she decided to see if she could find him and eventually located him on Facebook. The two began corresponding.

          Tyler saved enough money to fly to Manila, where he and Joana finally met. They began dating and eventually were married. As part of their celebration, family and friends packed shoeboxes to contribute to Operation Christmas Child.

          Pastor David Dykes told about a missionary team that had been invited to Russia to teach. It was Christmas time and they taught the story of Jesus’ birth at an orphanage. Everyone listened in amazement. None of the kids or staff had ever heard this story before. One of the missionaries wrote, “We gave the children some materials and instructed them to create the manger scene that they had just heard about. All went well until I got to one table where little Misha sat.

          “Misha looked to be about six or seven and had finished his project. As I looked at the little boy’s manger, I was startled to see not one, but two babies in the manger. I called for a translator to ask why. Looking at his completed manger scene, the child began to repeat the story accurately, until he came to the part where Mary put the baby Jesus in the manger. Then Misha started to ad-lib his own ending to the story.

          “He said, ‘And when Mary laid the baby in the manger, Jesus looked at me and asked me if I had a place to stay. I told him I have no mamma and no papa, so I don’t have any place to stay. Then Jesus told me I could stay with him. So I got into the manger, and then Jesus looked at me and he told me I could stay with him forever.’

          For the first time in his life, Misha found someone who would never abandon him nor abuse him, someone who would stay with him forever”

          One family after Christmas was taking down their Christmas tree. They were busy packing away the tinsel and putting away the decorations. Suddenly, the activity was interrupted as little Susie ran into the living room crying, “Mommy, Mommy, here’s the baby Jesus. I found him in the desk drawer.”

          She opened her little hand and there was the little baby Jesus that was supposed to be in the manger scene. He was left out the entire Christmas season. The shepherds were in the nativity set, the wise men were there, Mary and Joseph were there, but no Jesus. And, worse of all, the family in their hurry to get ready for Christmas, had not even missed Him!

          In the hectic pace to survive the race to Christmas day, our challenge is not to forget Jesus.

         A lady took her grandson and granddaughter to see Santa. These children lost their mother several years ago and their dad is raising them.

        Eight-year-old John climbed into Santa’s lap and presented Santa a note. Santa thought it was a Christmas list, but when he looked at it, tears rolled down his cheeks.

        The grandmother saw what was happening and thought John was asking for a mother for Christmas. Instead, the note read, “Santa, you’re really neat, but it’s all about Jesus.”

        Do you have a favorite Christmas story? Or memory? Please send it to me at dchancey@mcdonoughroad.org

David Chancey