This season has a lot of those type of passed down traditions. The biggest, or at least the most popular tradition of this Christmas season is the one of gift giving. As a kid I didn’t think the grown ups were lying to us, I just didn’t believe everything they said. I mean, I knew Santa Claus wasn’t real and if that was a fairy tale then who’s to say that the old Bible verse wasn’t either?
After all, at face value, even for us grown ups now, it doesn’t make sense to our sensibility at first; “Tis better to give than to receive.” Huh? Better to give than to get? Really? We listened respectfully not really buying into the hoopla of selflessness and sacrifice. We just kept our mouths shut, for the most part, and did what we had to do to get our grubby little paws on some presents when the magical time came for it.
If “difficult” is a good word to describe what it was for my dad to get my siblings and me up for church on Sundays, then we were the polar opposite on that one day of the year on Christmas. We were up and at ’em while the sun was still hours away from rolling around to our side of the globe.
Unfortunately for the impatient kids there was still yet one more tradition in between us and heaven on earth in those finely wrapped packages under the dying Christmas tree; the reading of the Good Book.
It didn’t matter that we could almost recite Luke chapter two by heart. My dad would break out that little black and tattered King James Bible, flip over to the third Gospel and say a prayer of thanks before beginning to read, “And it came to pass in those days…”
It’s peculiar, I recall some pretty good presents. The best present and thee absolute most shocking surprise was the one Christmas my mom and dad got me a red stingray with a sissy bar that rivaled the Tower of Babel. They never got much from us or each other… but I recall pure joy from them.
The adults were right of course. It takes some time to put away the foolishness of being a kid, Paul even says so. I can recall some of the gifts, but nothing touches my heart like the love I now recall in hindsight.
They were right about the giving and getting thing too. I guess it’s a pretty safe bet to quote the Savior of our souls and count on it and His sacrifice for eternity. Although the kids are older now, I still can’t wait to see the look on their faces this year. They’re gonna be shocked.
Merry Christmas to you, my friends. I pray you find peace from God above this season as we celebrate His Gift. May we deck the halls of our hearts in honor of Him.