About the Author

Deidra is a national speaker and the author of Every Little Thing: Making a World of Difference Right Where You Are, and One: Unity in a Divided World. Follow Deidra on Instagram @deidrariggs

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  1. Thank you for this post. Needed the “love” to start my day. I am too from VA & my daughter has such an amazing relationship with my mother like you described…..what a great image of the love spilling out on to the sidewalk. We will not get to go “home” for Christmas this year but oh, the love you carry until you come face to face once more….His gift! I am going to share this w/ my 10 year old Grace, I know she will be as touched as me! Merry Christmas!

  2. LOVE reading about your childhood Christmases! I grew up overseas and didn’t have that, but we always had lots of “aunts” and “uncles” surrounding and loving on us!

  3. Extravagant love…I love how full your heart was…full of anticipation…isn’t that was love does…and now as a grandmother…this is what I want for my family…grandloves…anticipation that they are coming home to extravagant love…love that flows right out of the heart of God. Thanks Deidra for painting this precious picture!!

  4. What beautiful memories, thank you for painting them in my heart today. I have similar memories of my own childhood, what a glorious day it will be when I will be reunited with my parents and grandparents, all because of that generous gift of love from our Savior.
    Merry Christmas to you and your family Deidra!
    Suzanne

  5. That heart of yours? All these years later, it’s bursting with so much love, and maybe that’s why you’re always pouring out onto others. There’s simply no room for one heart to contain it all, so you have to let love loose.

    I thank God for the extravagant gift of you, Deidra Riggs. Much love to you this Christmas and always.

    And may God bless the entire incourage ministry in the coming year. You are broadcasting the Good News into far corners of homes and hearts.

  6. Thank you for sharing your wonderful memories of your Grandparents. I lost my grandma this last year, but the memories of my grandma and grandpa remain ever so near my heart. I will always remember how she made everything so special and loved me like no other. I feel so blessed to have had her love, influence, and godly character to show me what true love is!!

  7. You are an amazing writer. I loved reading this, with some pain in my heart. My Christmases weren’t anything like this. Growing up I felt no love, I had no love and that was always extra painful in a season where families would come together. But since last year I have my own little family, I got married. And in this season of waiting… I ponder on Christ’s goodness to me. I have always had the hope to one day share life and it is here. I hope to build many good memories in the years to come, that pain subsides to the back and beauty steps in, all because of Jesus.

    On a different note I love the reminder of what you wrote. It saddens me that so many celebrate Christmas without celebrating Jesus.

    Merry Christmas!
    Much love.

    • Hope, your words really touch and bless me. God is showing me lately that He makes up *extravagantly* for years eaten by locusts. It looks as if He is beautifully doing that for you.
      God bless you!
      Lynn Morrissey

  8. This was absolutely beautiful. I want to be a person who loves extravagantly and loves so much that the receiver cannot hold it all. Because you’re right, that’s how Jesus loves us. And what a beautiful example and legacy your grandmother left you of that. It’s inspiring.

  9. Deidra, I love this passage from The Message, Eph. 5: “Mostly what God does is love you. Keep company with him and learn a life of love. Observe how Christ loved us. His love was not cautious but extravagant.” Your exquisite Christmas memory points this out in abundance. As beautiful Jennifer says, your heart is bursting at the seams, because you have allowed Christ to fill it with His love. Funny. I was just doing a word-study on *heart* before reading this, and yours is whole and full and malleable–a soft heart of flesh that receives and extends the extravagant love of Christ. What joyful Christmas memories you have, and what a blessed heritage you’ve received from loving parents and grandparents, who acted in love because they knew from Whom it came. Honestly, Deidra, I think this is the most beautiful piece I’ve ever read of yours. How appropriate that it should point to the One who, in His extravagant love, has extravantly gifted you! You are so precious. Merry Chrismtas!
    Muchlove,
    Lynn

  10. I LOVE the description of a grandmother’s love…dripping, oozing…its a wonderful picture of a child’s mind, the love of a grandmother and the moments that are ingrained in her memory of Christmases past. I pray that my grandchildren find our home- our time together-dripping with love and always directing them to the ONE who made it all possible. Jesus.

  11. What beautiful, special memories God has blessed you with…you will treasure them always. Happy Birthday, Jesus!! And God’s blessings in the new year.

  12. Oh, D. This story is a gift to me this Christmas season. From a little girl who never knew such extravagence, it makes me believe I can be that for future generations. Thank you for the extravagent love you spill out everywhere.

  13. Grandmothers, I’m convinced, are a gift from the Father. Though our parents love us, to have a grandmother with that kind of love, is the closest thing to Christ’s love here on earth. I love this story.

    I know one day, you will be the same kind of grandmother, and your grandchildren will write about the Christmases you spilled love all over them! Merry Christmas, Dee!

  14. Wow! This is just beyond words. I had a grandma on my mother’s side of the family who was like that. Very little money, but lots of love, and me content to hang out with her. She died when I was 4 1/2, but I have very distinct memories and almost snapshots of pictures of her home and the couch where I took naps, what Grandma looked like, and her hands as she prepared food to eat, and had her arm around her grandchildren.

    This is so true that we have all of this because of Jesus. The other side of the family held bitterness, anger, envy, strife, hollering….favoritism, comparisons. These people were able to only give what they had. Thankfully, my grandpa received Jesus in the last hours before he died, then he called over my grandma to tell her the news she just had to hear. The last years of her life she had Jesus.

    I don’t question the Lord’s timing, but I think how different their life, their love, and their joy could have been if they had Jesus many years before.

    Yes, Jesus does make all this love possible.

  15. Thank you! Illustrating God’s extravagant love through the eyes of child being submerged in her Grandmother’s love clarified it all for me. What love, all spilled out and piled up.

  16. This post was beautiful! I am a mother to young ones-3 under 5 and one more on the way. We live in Virginia and travel to NJ for Thanksgiving and sometimes Christmas. My mother in law lives here but other in laws live in NJ-so our trip is the reverse of yours. Reading your post, I hope that one day…way down the road…I am the grandmother to my grandchildren that you described. She sounds amazing. And how true it is that we wouldn’t have all this love if it wasn’t for Jesus!

  17. This was so beautiful. I could feel the love from your grandmother to you.
    You are a very blessed lady to have that memory.

  18. Do you know what I see? I see love throughout those memories. The greatest gift is to pass those memories on to your kids and then their kids. I remember those very same memories but in a different setting. All of kids would gather around and listen as the grownups ooed and awed over the desserts and food so carefully prepared. When it was time to eat, we knew that Grandmother would have the longest prayer of thanks while stomachs growled. After we all ate, it was our turns to shine. We shared our Christmas parts in each play we had from church to school. We sang our songs and we were surrounded by laughter and family. Thank you for taking me back, my friend. I needed this to be reminded that I hold the key to making those memories stay alive. Love you, Deidra!

  19. Dear Deidra,
    Thank you for sharing your childhood memories of such extravagant love all because of Jesus…wow, to have had loving grandparents and parents…what a treasure…Merry Christmas to you and yours…yes, all because of Him 🙂

  20. Beautiful! God has gifted you with writing talent. This was just an amazing, fun story to read. Thanks soo much for sharing!

    My grandparents died before I was 5-7 years old, so I didn’t have that type of Christmas. My family moved around a bit and all my sisters were in different states, so Christmas was just mom, dad and myself for many many years.

    God Bless everyone and have a Blessed Christmas!

  21. WOW! This touched me today (Christmas 8:30 pm EST) in so many ways. My dear maternal grandmother passed away in December, 1999. I am a grandmother of 8 and none of them live in my town. This is the first Christmas where none my children (2 by birth and married) and 2 by marriage) and NONE of my grandchildren were here to celebrate the birth of Jesus with me and my husband. But I was blessed to see my youngest 2 grandchildren (ages 3 and 1) this past Saturday and again on Monday. When they left on Saturday, my Eva (the 3 yr old) didn’t want to leave. Her parents tell me she’s always asking to go to Grandma’s house (not Granddad’s house). I hope my grandchildren always recall how I played on the floor with them, used Care Bear and our stuffed monkeys to hold conversations with them. My son told me once when he came home (he’s a career soldier) with my grandson (my oldest grandchild) that all I cared about was seeing my grandson (not true, of course). I told my son that because I see his 3 children only once or twice a year, I am always excited to see how much they grown and changed. My son, on the other hand, usually looks the same give or take a few pounds! I have taken sooooooo many videos with the camera of my 3 yr old granddaughter who physically reminds me sooooooo much of my daughter when she was that age. Yes, I love, love, love being a grandmother. But more than that, I love, love, love being a child of the Most High God for while my children and grandchildren are in other states, my Lord is here with me ALL the time. So while I’m sad that my children and grandchildren aren’t here with me this Christmas, I rejoice in this day that we celebrate as His birthday. Thank you for sharing your childhood memories – they brought joy to my heart!