Vona B. Elkins Bankston lives in Moulton, Alabama. She is a mother of 3 adult children, 7 grandchildren, and 3 great grandchildren. She is active in the women’s ministry in her church, sings in the choir and is also a soloist. She loves Auburn football, hiking, singing, reading and spending time with friends and family.
She writes skits, life experience articles, and devotionals. For the past 5 years she has been writing interactive Bible studies and Bible dramas for CHRIST TO THE WORLD MINISTRIES which broadcasts on radio and internet in 26 countries.
Vona’s journey in life has led her to the mountain top and down into the valley. She says: You can’t live forever on the mountain top, there is no fertilizer there. It’s down in the valley with real people, with real problems that you find nourishment that enables you to grow deep into the soil of God’s love.
Christmas came to us once a year. My Dad was like a little boy at Christmas. He often let Santa come a day early because he couldn’t wait another day to see the look of joy and excitement on our faces.
Today it seems our youngsters have Christmas all year long and when December 25 rolls around there is not much to buy which they don’t already have. I feel this has robbed them of the thrill of anticipation felt by an earlier generation.
I was born into a family of four siblings. We didn’t have a lot of earthly treasures growing up but the heavenly treasure of the love of Jesus Christ bound us together in a special way.
One of our favorite things to do together was sing around the old family organ. We carried this tradition with us when we married and had families of our own. Though separated by miles we maintained that tradition whenever we had a chance to get together with our parents and siblings.
It was Christmas Eve 1996.My husband and I had been blessed with three children and seven grandchildren. They were all at our house which had become a tradition for us.
The children were excited as they played together but the only joy we adults felt came from their laughter as they played together. My husband had terminal cancer. We tried not to let our fear and sadness show on our faces for we felt this might be his last Christmas with us. I wondered if we would ever be able to sing at Christmas again.
Suddenly there was a loud knock on the door. Everyone got quiet. When I went to the door I found my brother’s family standing there, two van loads of singers. The family harmony was heavenly as they sang the songs for us that we could not sing for ourselves. I don’t believe the angels and the heavenly host sounded any better on the night Christ was born.
Isn’t this what Christmas is really about? Standing together as earthly families and God’s family . . . standing together as the shepherds did on Christmas night . . . beholding the star, beholding the Savior of the world lying in a manger . . . then going into the world to share the good news shared by the angels,
“Fear not: for behold I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this night in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord. “