Reminiscing and Christmas – they seem to go together!
The farmhouse that was our home had a coal burning furnace in the basement that required being fed, stoked, and having the clinkers removed from time to time. A little ledge that was part of its door on the inside also provided a place to put a coffee can of potatoes to bake. When the door was closed, it latched and could be opened only from the outside.
When I was a child, still believing in Santa Claus, it worried me that when Santa came down the chimney, as everyone knew he did, he would land in the firebox and would be burned because there was no way for him to get out. I remember posing that problem to my mother but I don’t remember her answer.
One Christmas at the county home where Dad and Mom were superintendent and matron was especially memorable. As did our family, most employees lived right in the home. None of them were expected to work on Christmas Day. Our family took care of that.
On Christmas Eve that year, only a couple of them left to go to their Christmas destinations. The others chose to spend the night as usual and leave in the morning.
But Christmas Eve night brought in a disabling snow storm. No one was going anywhere! So, instead of our family preparing breakfast and dinner, those snowed-in employees stepped up to the plate and, together, we prepared good meals and spent a pleasant and beautiful Christmas Day as one big family.
A few did get away in the afternoon after roads had been cleared, but what made it so memorable was the way the entire group enjoyed Christmas Day together.
Looking back, it is not the gifts given or received that make Christmas memories. Oh, I remember the year I thought I wouldn’t live if I didn’t get ice skates – shoe skates, of course. The packages had all been distributed and opened. No ice skates! Mom and Dad looked puzzled and then looked at my grandparents. “Oh! I forgot! They’re still at home!” where they had been hidden from me, or course. I did get the skates and did enjoy them, but the Christmas thrill was missing.
World War II brought some Christmas memories, too. Both my brothers were in service, and neither could get leave for Christmas. Leave in January was an option. So on Christmas Day we had a very limited gift exchange and kept the tree up until they got home in January. Then we truly celebrated Christmas with the family all present.
But as we hear every year, the true meaning of Christmas is in the Christ child, whose birth is commemorated on that day. (I always felt so honored to share that birthday with Him!)
Yes, we share a birthday commemoration, but, while I came into the world as any other baby, He came for the express purpose of dying in your place and mine so we can have the assurance, the Peace and Joy of eternal life with Him at the end of this present sojourn.
If you don’t yet know Jesus as your Savior, make this your Christmas gift to yourself by saying yes to His magnanimous offer of eternal life in heaven with Him, and truly enjoy the season.