Christmas is approaching, and I’ve been thinking about colorful lights, Christmas trees, presents, Christmas carols, church bells, and most importantly, the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ. And for some reason, I’ve also been thinking about the colorful hard ribbon candy, chocolate drops, candy canes, chocolate-covered cherries, and little square hard-candy treats of my childhood Christmases.

I won’t be enjoying any of those this year. My entire stomach was removed last year, due to disease, and that has ruled out sweet treats for me forever. I’m not discouraged, though, because I’ve found something even sweeter. I savor my friends and family. I’m thankful for my renewed health and for being able to travel without fear of needing an emergency transfusion or having my oxygen supply suddenly cut off. Each day I taste the goodness of God as I experience His mercies, miracles, and blessings. Those things satisfy my sweet tooth now. I don’t miss candy at all.

Replacements for my usual Christmas treats this year also include petting a dog; the sweetness of my granddaughter’s face as she looks into mine; holding my husband’s hand and hearing him say he’s so glad he married me; my daughter saying she appreciates me; friendly neighbors; good doctor visits and good test results; the beauty of the sapphire winter night sky; and the innocence of the graceful deer, wild turkeys, and other wildlife that flourish here.

I used to love my Christmas fudge! But instead of acquiring the “Christmas spread” that comes with abundant eating, this year I’ll spread Christmas cheer. When I think about my renewed energy and treasures that were overshadowed for years by bad health, I know God is giving me new chances in life. I won’t let those gifts go to waste. I’ll use that energy to pass out some “Christmas candy” of my own.

We all want good things in our lives. And we have them. We just need to look around and appreciate them. Indulge yourself this Christmas! Love life and the loving God who created it. “Taste and see that the Lord is good!” 1 It won’t make you fat or rot your teeth. It’ll do your heart more good than bypass surgery, and it’ll take years off your face. It won’t raise your blood sugar levels, but will raise the hope in your soul.

Better yet, be a candymaker—an instigator of little deeds of thoughtfulness and kindness, the things that sweet memories are made of. Let “good will toward men” sweeten your Christmas season. Savor it and share it.

  1. Psalm 34:8