Here it is another christmas already and, well, it just popped up so fast that I feel like I haven’t had time to really enjoy the season. Everything has been so chaotic it seems. The economy stinks so working has taken a priority and its toll on our life. Health concerns with family and myself is an ever looming problem. And kids activities and just life in general has caused life to be so busy that just sitting down and enjoying the holiday has been put on the back burner.
I remember when I was a kid my mom went all out decorating the house for Christmas. There was “christmas” everywhere and in every room. We even had one of those color changing wheels in front of the tree to make it change color. (I’m sure some of you are way too young to even know about those things). How I loved sitting in the living room with all the lights out except the tree and just watching the changing colors and seeing the sparkle of christmas in our house. It seemed like a magical time and I never wanted it to end. Then Christmas eve was spectacular in our family. It started mid afternoon going to church, often we sang or played our instruments in the service, and celebrated the coming of Jesus. Then we went to St. Paul…mind you it didn’t matter how much it snowed or how blustery it was, we went all the way from our little suburb to St. Paul to my great Aunts house for dinner.
There were presents to open, carols to sing and always the kids had to sing or say our “peice” by the tree. As we got older I remember getting the giggles with my brothers over different things, and trying to hold in the laughter until we couldn’t breathe.
From there it was on to my grandparents little white church for the midnight candlelight service. Grandpa would preach every year, and more often then not all of us kids sang. It was a big deal for us all. As grandpa got older I remember my mom always saying, “remember kids this could be the last Christmas that Grandpa preaches here!” After about 10 years of hearing that it became a joke for us all. But the day did come that was Grandpa’s last time to speak at his little white church. That seemed like the end of an era for us all.
After Church it was off to Grandma and Grandpa’s house for “santa’ to arrive. Grandpa would sneak out the back door and jingle these bells, and we would hear his booming radio voice say “ho ho ho” and we knew it was THAT time! Santa had pulled up. And man did he deliver. There were so many presents every year…even the years when we didn’t have much money, mom and dad always managed to make it seem like we had hit the mother lode with gifts. After Gifts grandma would serve what she called a “Little lunch” before we headed home at about 3 AM to go to bed. The best part of that was the herring that she had…we only had herring at christmas and I loved it! (it’s a pickeled fish…delicious) Man, that was Christmas. It had it all….the true meaning of Christmas was brought forth through that whole day for us! And Santa with the gifts was the bonus!
Now, it seems like that childlike wonder, that magic has disappeared from my life. This year especially it feels more empty. But, inside I know that the true meaning of Christmas is about the Baby that came down to save us all! And that is a truth I carry with me all year long.
In the hustle of this season and through the next year I hope that you remember, as I will, that Jesus has come, to bring Joy to the World no matter how unjoyful it may seem sometimes. He is the hope that guides this world.
Merry Christmas to all of you.