3 Divine Signs from Beyond at Christmas

Christmas messages from beyond that brought comfort and peace during the holiday season.

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Posted in , Nov 24, 2021

Photo credit: DAVID COLE/ALAMY

Judy Hanks from Martinez, Georgia

I’ll never forget the first Christmas I spent with my husband, Brent. We were in Kentucky, visiting his family. We’d just sat down to eat breakfast when I noticed something outside: snowflakes!

Growing up in Georgia, I’d never experienced a white Christmas. Delighted, I watched the snow fall. Brent leaned over with a smile. “I ordered that just for you,” he whispered.

It was a magical moment, one I couldn’t help but think of when Brent passed in December 2013. We’d had many happy years together. But that didn’t lessen the pain of saying goodbye.

The funeral was back in Kentucky. That day, the weather was cold, bleak. On my way from the car to the funeral home, something made me stop. A feeling I couldn’t explain. Then I spotted something. Snow! I watched in amazement as snowflakes drifted from the gray sky. For the first time in a long time, I smiled. Brent had ordered this gift, just for me.

Elaine Howie from Indian Land, South Carolina

Christmas was my cousin Zeke’s favorite time of year. This year wouldn’t be the same without him. At just 27 years old, he had died of an opioid overdose. None of us had known he was using. It was a shock for everyone, especially his parents. So this year I wanted to give them something special to commemorate Zeke.

I’d read somewhere that seeing a cardinal is a sign that your departed loved one is near. So I bought plain ornaments for each family member and hand-painted a red cardinal on each one.

On Christmas Day, when I arrived at my aunt and uncle’s house, everything was decorated, except for the Christmas tree. It stood in the corner, dark, with a single ornament featuring a picture of Zeke.

“Why are there no decorations on the tree?” I asked my aunt.

“Oh, I’ve looked everywhere for them!” she lamented. “I couldn’t find them. I was only able to find a few strands of lights for the tree, but they won’t even turn on.”

“Well, I brought ornaments for everyone. I could hang those up for tonight,” I said. My aunt agreed. As she finished dinner, I went to work.

I hung the final ornament and took a step back. Suddenly, the lights on the tree sparkled to life. I smiled. Zeke was here, letting us know he was celebrating with us.

Jane Weathers Sanders from Marietta, Georgia

A week before Christmas of 2018, I was in the attic, searching for the holiday decorations. I’d gotten a late start decorating this year, probably because it was the first Christmas since my husband, Billy, had passed away. I felt strange celebrating without him.

My husband had been a kind, creative man. One of his favorite hobbies was calligraphy. He loved giving people beautiful handmade signs. Newly engaged couples got elegant announcements with their names and wedding dates. New parents received their baby’s name and date of birth in looping script.

That was before Billy got sick. Four years earlier, he’d been diagnosed with Lewy body dementia, a neurodegenerative disorder similar to Alzheimer’s. His decline had been swift. He spent the last years of his life in a memory care facility.

After he passed, I gave his children most of the calligraphy pieces. I hadn’t kept many for myself, something I sometimes regretted.

In the attic, as I looked around for the Christmas decorations, my gaze fell on a leather satchel, one that I hadn’t seen in ages. It was Billy’s. Decorations forgotten, I brought it downstairs.

Inside, there were some calligraphy supplies, including a sketchpad. I flipped it open to a page that took my breath away. There, gorgeously scripted, were two words: Merry Christmas.

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