Since Dickens and A Christmas Carol all Christendom has recognized that, while fashion, attitude and politics change, Christmas marks the time.

We all remember from one Christmas to the next. That first Christmas with the new baby. That last Christmas with a grandparent. We remember our little traditions, sometimes handed down from parents and grandparents, or even those from the lands our great-great-great grandparents came from.

Christmas Present gets its savor from Christmas Past. It is our most celebrated and revered season. And those seasons we remember and remember each December, ever measuring this year’s vintage against the treasured tastes of bygone yules.

In that savoring, it is hard not to remember those no longer with us while we sit around our festive holiday tables. That favorite great aunt, treasured grandparent or especially close cousin…we see glimpses of them laughing by the fireplace or see a special ornament of theirs on this year’s tree.

But the sharpest stabs of nostalgia, the ones so painfully poignant, come from the absence of parents, children, brothers, sisters or spouses…those we once shared each day with in bouts of triumph, sickness, chores and just the ebb and flow of daily life.

Christmas has the power for great joy but also for great sorrow.

As we celebrate the Birth of Our Savior this day, remember that His sacrifice at the original Calvary conquered eternal death. We hope your memories of Christmas Past bring you joy this season.

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