Around our house, today (Dec 23) is known as Christmas Adam. Ok, nobody else calls it that; but I do. Why? Because tomorrow is Christmas Eve. Of course!
As I think about Christmas, some memories come quickly to mind. I’ll bet that’s true for you, too. But, since this is my blog, I get to list my favorite ones. If you have ones you’d like to share, feel free to comment below. (Or get your own blog.)
So, in the spirit of the retiring David Letterman (he does look kind of like an elf, doesn’t he?), here are my best Christmas memories, in reverse order:
10. Having kids who are now old enough not to get up at 6am to open presents.
9. When they were younger, going with my kids on Christmas eve or day to visit with folks in the nursing home.
8. Watching “It’s a Wonderful Life.” I love that movie, and if you catch me at the right time, I just might do my best Jimmy Stewart impersonation.
7. 1968. It was my first Christmas. I don’t remember it, as I was born just a week before Christmas came. But my mom wasn’t supposed to have me until January, and since I came early, she hadn’t yet bought gifts for my four older brothers and sisters. So she sent my dad out on Christmas eve, and he came back with one present for the three oldest kids. My 20-month-old sister didn’t even get a gift; I guess she was young enough, so my parents figured she wouldn’t know — and my parents were living on mission support at the time. So, I pretty much messed up my first Christmas. But my siblings still love me. I think.
6. When my son was a toddler, we got him a train table. As I recall, I spent a lot of time on Christmas eve putting it together. Since you can’t wrap a train table, we covered it with a blanket. When my girls were looking at it, we asked them what they thought was under the blanket. Sophie, who was probably six, whispered her suggested “answer” to her little sister, which Ruth Ann promptly parroted back to us. What’s under the blanket? “Lemon pie,” she said. Huh?
5. When I was a teenager, we had a blue Volkswagen Van that was on its last legs (or tires, I guess). The heat wasn’t working in that old car, and I remember riding to Christmas eve service with my toes frozen. Don’t remember anything about the service, but I sure was glad to get into the warm sanctuary.
4. When I was in college, my sister and I snuck out of the house to go to Midnight Mass. What? Well, growing up in the Christian Church, I had never experienced mass, and I thought I would see what it was like on Christmas eve. And because it was late, and I didn’t want to worry my parents, I snuck out. Really.
3. Aunt Dorothy’s visits. She never married, and had no family of her own, so Aunt Dorothy would often visit us over Christmas. I loved going to pick her up at the airport, and waiting anxiously for the box of presents and candy she had brought to slide down the luggage chute. One of the things Aunt Dorothy would bring was sponge candy from where she lived in Buffalo. Our family loved that stuff — and wouldn’t you know, for the past two Christmases, I have received sponge candy as a present. It’s the perfect combination of chocolate, sugar, and stickiness. If you are ever in Buffalo, you really ought to try some.
2. One year, as our kids opened a present that was meant for all of them, my oldest, as she began to realize what it was, exclaimed: You mean you guys actually spent real money on us this year?!
1. Getting to share with those I love the power and the promise of the season: Jesus has come, and he is the light of the world!