“I’ve always been saddened by the commercialism of Christmas. It hurts my heart that nowadays the focus is on ‘things’ rather than the birth of our Savior. It makes me think of my grandmother’s stories of how different Christmas was when she was a child, before endless commercials and packed malls. Before she’d passed, Gram tried to give us a taste of the Christmas in her heart by teaching us to bake, taking us caroling and spending time volunteering at church.
“Recently I was walking through yet another store while searching for meaningless gifts, and it made me miss Gram more than ever. Nobody understands, God. This isn’t what it’s all about, my soul pleaded as I looked at all the shiny collectables lining the shelves.
“I popped into a little shop to look for a box of cards when a carousel music box on the shelf next to me began to twirl and chime ‘Happy Birthday.’ I was staring at it, perplexed, when suddenly it stopped. Then to my surprise, the one next to it began to play, right where the first one had left off.
Then a third carousel sprang into action. I blinked in wonder, then my heart leapt as I smelled Gram’s lavender perfume. Suddenly a memory flashed through my mind: Gram singing ‘Happy Birthday’ to Jesus as I helped her set up her beautiful antique nativity set.
“My spirit soared as I bought the music box. I wrapped it the moment I got home and labeled it as a gift from Gram to me. I placed the gift under the tree, my heart filled with love and Christmas spirit, then I whispered, ‘Happy Birthday, Jesus.’” —Lori Dupree, 43, Portland, ME