Heirlooms

There are different categories of Christmas music, I think. I would lump “Jingle Bells” and “Deck the Halls” into a carol category. Some of my favorites, like “O Holy Night,” are best described as Christmas hymns. But there are still others that can only be generally labeled as Christmas songs.

Amy Grant’s “Heirlooms” is my favorite of these. It’s a perfect example of why that last category is so broad; I could listen to “Heirlooms” year round.

But Amy chose to include it on her first Christmas album, and it fits. Christmas is a time when both family and reflection abound. In an ideal world, one 24 hour period in December wouldn’t be required for this. But the last week of the year does find me pensive, and “Heirlooms” captures that spirit.

Mingled with my reflections are daydreams of what may come to be. As I spend the holiday with my family of origin, I pray also for the family I hope to mother.

I try not to think about them too often – particularly the man who I’ll lead alongside. I don’t want to ignore today for dreams of tomorrow. But they do come to mind periodically, and especially at this time of year.

Will my babies believe in Santa Claus, or will their father and I focus exclusively on the real Christmas story? When we attend Christmas Eve services, will my family join us? Will his? How will we minister to them, especially during this season?

Even more prominent in my thoughts is the question of my children’s spiritual heritage. Jesus is more than a fanciful myth passed down to me by older generations. Church isn’t an obligation owed to my Southern heritage. Instead, my faith is based in my personal relationship with the Savior who created me.

I intend to raise my children in such a way that His love is made manifest through their father and me. But I don’t want to limit that spiritual heirloom to something that I pass on; I want to pass it up as well.

Up in the attic,
Down on my knees.
Lifetimes of boxes,
Timeless to me.
Letters and photographs,
Yellowed with years,
Some bringing laughter,
Some bringing tears.

Time never changes,
The memories, the faces
Of loved ones, who bring to me,
All that I come from,
And all that I live for,
And all that I’m going to be.
My precious family
Is more than an heirloom to me.

Wisemen and shepherds,
Down on their knees,
Bringing their treasures
To lay at his feet.
Who was this wonder,
Baby yet king?
Living and dying;
He gave life to me.

Time never changes,
The memory, the moment
His love first pierced through me,
Telling all that I came from,
And all that I live for,
And all that I’m going to be.
My precious Savior
Is more than an heirloom to me.

My precious Jesus
Is more than an heirloom to me.

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