The table is set for Christmas dinner, and I’ve taken this picture in the still moments prior to the festivities beginning – as I usually do in order to create a, “back story” to help define the moment.
The symbolism and decorations of Advent and Christmas helps prepare the mind to understand the gifts that are given to us by God from above, because recognizing His gifts to us makes it easy for us to then give to others.
No one can even imagine the preparations in Heaven that God has prepared for those who love Him, and none of our actions or gifts we give here on Earth can compare to what awaits us in Heaven.
Christmas is a time to remember the gift of Jesus Christ which was given to us all by the Father – and with that gift of Jesus who is our path to salvation – we can mirror that gift through our actions in caring for others.
Christmas is a “living gift” that was given to us for our salvation through the Father’s gift to the world of His Son Jesus – and so we too are able to mirror that gift to us in what we do and give to others.
The gifts of Christmas are not limited to the day or the season, but the best gift of Christmas that we can truly make is to continue the spirit of Christmas giving throughout the year to those who are in true need.
The best gifts given in the true spirit of Christmas are those gifts given to make a positive impact in someone’s life – who will never be able to or required to return your generosity – and in that we think of God’s free gifts to us, which we could never possibly repay to God.
My father-in-law built this house for his family mostly from his own two hands, and in that effort he created a beautiful home that was a tribute to his talents and abilities.
David shares a couch with his grandfather or “Opa,” while his aunt sits nearby prior to exchanging gifts on Christmas.
David eagerly awaits a chance to open presents on Christmas in Bruch, as everyone enjoys a few minutes together prior to opening their gifts.
David’s uncle (left) and Opa (right) flank him on either side, as he waits for the process of gift giving to begin.
David’s little cousin is excited by something she sees and can’t quite contain her excitement on Christmas.
David’s two great-grandmothers begin the gift exchange by thoughtfully reading their cards on the first two gifts of Christmas.
While I was taking a picture of David’s two great-grandmothers, I captured this image of my father-in-law taking a photo in the mirror above them – as if it was a framed painting in a portrait gallery.
David looks at a globe gift from his grandmother or, “Oma” – and examines with her the countries of the world.
By this time in his young life, David had made four international moves between three countries – Germany, the United States and England – and he was well versed in geography, and could put the world into a sense of perspective of having experienced so much in his young life.
David – wearing his, “Thomas the Tank Engine” sweater – listens to his Opa read the gift card for the gift he was about to open.
David watches as his aunt begins opening her gift, showing his interest with every revealing tear of the wrapping paper.
David shows off a German language atlas of wildlife that he received for Christmas, as his uncle looks on beside him.
My father-in-law looks over a book on cars that he received as a gift – reviewing it with an expert’s eye from having restored many Mercedes-Benz automobiles himself.
I hold up a German language book about Berlin for the camera, with David beside me on Christmas in Bruch.