Christmas was always a special time in Billy and Ruth Graham’s home. Mrs. Graham would decorate their cabin home with garlands and Christmas trimmings, and the fireplace mantel was always covered in the family Christmas stockings. As her children grew and then had children of their own, being the frugal, resourceful person she was, Ruth Graham would mark through the previous name on the stocking and write a new name on the leg of the stocking so it could continue to be used in the next generation.
Of course, while the Graham family did enjoy some of the many traditional elements of Christmas like stockings and decorations, the focus was always on Jesus Christ and the miracle of what Christmas really is.
Ruth Graham wrote about this in Decision Magazine in 1965:
“It is just before Christmas, but perhaps you don’t care anymore. Something has happened, and now you find no joy or meaning to your life. Perhaps the most you look for is some temporary form of escape.
Maybe you can’t give anything. There’s nothing left to give—or there’s no one left to give to.
What’s Christmas all about anyway? Wasn’t there a death, an emptiness, a need? Wasn’t there a Love somewhere—infinite, eternal, unchangeable—a Love that gave His only Son? That’s what Christmas is all about: God coming to Earth in the Person of the Christ Child, to do for you and for me what we cannot possibly do for ourselves.
Jesus lived among us and had the same kinds of problems that we do. You haven’t a problem—and I haven’t a problem—that He doesn’t understand from close personal experience. He spent His entire life meeting human needs. He died on the cross to deal once and for all with our greatest need—redemption from sin. This Christmas, God is asking you to come to Him. Bring your failures, your sins, your problems, your fears. Bring yourself.
This is Christmas: Redemption’s glorious exchange of gifts!”