What is your worst Christmas memory?

I have two worst Christmas memories.

First Worst Christmas

The first is one of my earliest childhood memories. I wanted a fire truck for Christmas. I had pointed it out to my parents in the window of the store where we lived in Hartford City, Indiana. It was the ONLY thing I wanted, but the trouble was that my communication skills were not as refined as I thought they were at that age. The fire truck I wanted was a peddle car. You sat on it, peddled, and moved around. While the fire truck I got was a very nice, it wasn’t the one I had dreamed about.

Maybe you’ve been there. You saw the little jewelry box and just knew he was going to propose. But then he didn’t. You thought there was a big surprise coming but it never came. I was devastated, but I was 5. I got over it.

Second Worst Christmas

My friend Jim is a missionary to Africa. He was in our home recently and we were reminiscing about his worst Christmas ever. When we were teenagers we attended the same church, and that church always had a beautiful Christmas Eve candlelight service. The candles were disposable, so they collected all of them in trash bins as people exited the auditorium.

Jim thought it would be a waste to throw all those candles away, so he gathered up 50 or so and took them home. In the spirit of the Christmas season he arranged them around his room and lit them for a little holiday ambience. Then his mom called him upstairs for Christmas Eve dinner. (You can see where this is going).

About half way through dinner the thick, black smoke reached the dining room. His bedroom was on fire!

Fortunately everyone got out safely, but the family had to spend Christmas Day and the next several weeks in a hotel room.  Christmas lunch became fast food. All the Christmas gifts were gone. It’s been 25 years and Jim thinks his mom has finally forgiven him for ruining Christmas.

Your Worst Christmas

Or maybe now as you look back at your worst Christmas, it’s become a funny memory – like the time my mom and dad bought my sister and I expensive electronics and wrapped them under the tree, only to find when we tore open the wrapping paper that the boxes were empty! The store employees had secretly stolen the actual products and sold my parents the empty cardboard shells.

Maybe you’ve moved on like Jim’s mom, or maybe now as you look back the memory is still a devastating scar. Maybe those memories are the reason you don’t like the Christmas season anymore.

But what would really be the worst Christmas ever?

The Beauty of Christmas

The true beauty of Christmas is that, when we desperately needed a Savior, God sent his Son to be the answer to every question we would ever ask. I know that. You know that. We believe that. But what about the people who have never heard? If there truly is a Savior and you didn’t know about Him, wouldn’t that make this the worst Christmas ever?

There are over 3 billion people in the world who have no access to the beautiful message of Christmas. Nearly 7,000 people groups around the globe who have no idea that while they can’t earn their way to God, God gloriously came for them.

It will truly be the worst Christmas ever for these communities if no one comes to tell them about Jesus. Will you help us make sure everyone hears about the Savior?