Memorable Christmases are never about the gifts

What are some of your memorable Christmases? My first one was the Christmas I turned six years old. Mom’s side of the family had been in our home on Christmas Eve. Then in the morning, when I got up, I was not my usual vibrant self excited on Christmas morning. Instead, I parked myself on the floor register in the living room.

Mom soon noticed and the doctor was called. Diagnosis? Scarlet fever. Quarantine! And my steady, loving, unmovable mom was reduced to tears. Why? The family being there the night before could well have exposed them!

Many years of celebrating Christmas in the Fulton County Home where Dad and Mom were superintendent and matron also brought memories. Many groups came year after year to sing carols and spend time with the residents. The Methodist Men’s Group from Wauseon came every year and was greatly anticipated.

Chairs from the dining rooms were lined up neatly in the large entry hall. As the men’s group arrived, residents came out to find a good seat and friends from the neighborhood came over. It was always a special evening of carols, fellowship, a message from God’s Word and Santa’s arrival when the sleigh bells rang from the rafters. Being Santa, he brought a gift and treat for every resident.,

Christmas Day itself was a day off for every employee – except the superintendent and his family. We took over meals and chores for the day while employees were free to be with family.

All except for one especially memorable Christmas Day.

This was a live-in job. On Christmas Eve some employees left to start their Christmas with family. Others, who lived closer, chose to wait until morning. But morning arrived in a solid sheet of ice. Nobody was going anywhere!

Still, it was Christmas! Everyone pitched in to do chores and prepare meals in both the resident and employee kitchens. There were no tears, no ill feelings – just a sense of “It’s Christmas.” And we made the most of it! After dinner, roads had cleared enough so those who wanted to could still get home to be with family; my grandparents arrived from a half mile away, and we had a memorable Christmas.

What are some of your own memorable Christmases? I suspect, like mine, the memories have nothing to do with gifts given and/or received.

Let’s make Christmas Day, 2020, the year of COVID-19, a memorable one as our celebrations observe the safety rules to avoid the spread of the virus.

Without the usual hubbub of the day, we can read again the familiar Christmas story and turn our thoughts to the One who is the Reason for the Season – Jesus Christ, who was born to live life as we do so He could truly experience what we do in everyday living, then to die to pay the price for our sin. Trust Him now as there may be no tomorrow.