My Turning Page: A Christmas Devotional

This is the final devotional in our Diva Christmas Series 2018, “The Best Christmas Ever!” I can’t believe it either, but Christmas is one week away! Here is my contribution to the series, which I truly hope provided some enjoyment and intimacy with God this season for you.

Here are all of the links for this year’s series if you missed any! Day 1, Day 2, Day 3, Day 4, Day 5, Day 6, Day 7, Day 8, Day 9(particularly relevant to my devotional today!)

If you’re craving more Christmas devotionals, feel free to use our search bar for the past 4 years of Christmas devotionals!

A little background info on our Diva Christmas Series: Every year I’ve been editor, I like to celebrate the Christmas season with a special series and theme. This is year 5!! This year’s theme is “The Best Christmas Ever.” Submissions are closed, but if you’d like to read more about the series, here is my post announcing the series!

This is my final post until next year — post baby and post international move!

I love how everyone had their own interpretation of “the best Christmas ever.” This series turned out better than I could have imagined. Every year in the late summer or fall I pray for God to give me the idea for the year’s Christmas series. It never comes right away, but He always delivers.

I’d hoped that everyone would get the idea I was introducing with this year’s series…Gifts do not necessarily a best Christmas make, but the togetherness, the generosity, the feelings.

In fact, I think the best word for what I’m describing is not an English word. What comes to mind is “hygge,” a Danish word and custom. Here’s a great explanation of hygge from Oxford Dictionaries: 

“A quality of cosiness and comfortable conviviality that engenders a feeling of contentment or well-being (regarded as a defining characteristic of Danish culture)”

That is Christmastime, isn’t it?

The best Christmas I ever had was in 2012. It was the first Christmas in a long time that I wasn’t dealing with depression. I had been living in Chicago with my husband at our first military duty station for about 6 months. I finally found the right solutions to crawl out of my pit of depression and anxiety. For me that meant the right medication and therapy, but God placed other significant events in my life that year that healed me as well. Christmas 2012 was my turning page, and it was magic.

I went home to Iowa for a couple weeks during November 2012 for my sister-in-law’s wedding. Sadly my husband wasn’t able to go along. All of our family and friends, I think, noticed the huge difference in me. I felt good.

I remember being on the phone with my husband and mentioning that I thought I wanted to get a white Christmas tree — it would actually be our first tree together and I was so excited.

He was able to come back to Iowa for Thanksgiving, and we went home to Chicago together after that.

We listened to Christmas music on the drive home, and I was ready to get our house decorated! I made many plans in my head, including where to start looking for my dream white Christmas tree.

We arrived home, and after greeting our kitties, I saw the most perfect white Christmas tree I could have ever imagined sitting the corner of our living room.

Christmas was here. We were a new family. Together, we would decorate this tree and, maybe in a few years, decorate it with our kids. We would make new memories around this tree — and be done with bad memories. The tree was a new beginning for me, and my husband loved me enough to surprise me with it.

That Christmas season truly was my best ever. Full of new memories and traditions (and that hygge feeling!).

Merry Christmas, everyone.