Christmas

December 26, 2005

Yesterday was Christmas and that makes today my Grandpa Burton’s birthday. He is 82 years young…Happy Birthday, Grandpa!

When my sisters and I were little, my mom would sometimes say, after we had opened an especially nice gift or enjoyed some holiday time with friends or family, “We could stop right here and say we had a good Christmas.” She said this exact sentence every year at least once and it became a family joke of sorts, to the point that even now, my brother-in-law keeps a running count of how many times it is said during our family Christmas celebration each year. (Was it 11 or 12 this year, Jeph?) She is not the only one who says it now and even though it is partly said in fun, it helps us all remember the real reason we are together and what we are celebrating. This year, I think we all felt the truth of that simple statement on a new level. We had three little family members celebrating their first Christmas this year and Michael was not in Iraq, like last year, but here with us. These are just two things that come to mind but the best part of Christmas truly is just being together and enjoying each other as we remember the wondrous gift that God gave us in Christ. Without Him, we would have nothing, much less anything worth celebrating. We really could stop right there and say we had a good Christmas!

And now for a humorous story…my grandmother sent an interactive nativity for the kids this year. The point of it was to remind the kids that what God wants for Christmas is US. There are seven small boxes to open. The first 6 boxes each contain one nativity figurine and the last box has a mirror. We did this all together on Christmas Eve with the adults taking turns reading the poems from the book to go with each box. The suspense was building as Alley and Liam anxiously waited to see what it was that God wanted for Christmas. They opened the last box and Mom said, “What does God want for Christmas?” and Liam looked in the box and said, ” A mirror?” He was quite surprised at God’s Christmas wishlist! We had to explain that it was actually him (and all of us) that He wants.

Even though I could have stopped right there and had a good Christmas post, no Christmas post would be complete without mentioning some of the gifts we received. 🙂 I got the FlyLady feather duster set and a Southern Living cookbook I had been wanting for a long time and a much needed gift card to IKEA!!!!! Alley got a Cabbage Patch doll and a few things to assist her in her pursuit of theater, Liam got assorted Star Wars and Spiderman toys, and Dresden got blocks, balls, and stuffed animals. Michael got a personalized book stamp for his growing library and some cool T-shirts and cds. These are just a few of many. It really was a good Christmas!

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3 Responses to “Christmas”

  1. Dad said

    Christmas keeps changing the older we get. It just keeps getting better and better, but for different reasons. Spiritually, each Christmas finds me a little more aware of my need for Christ and His mercy and grace. I am beginning more and more to wrestle with the apostle Paul for the title of being “less than the least of all the saints” and “the chief of all sinners”. The greater the perception of my need, the more I am grateful for the Gift of God that satisfies my need, the ultimate Christmas gift, salvation through the Lord Jesus Christ.

    From the perspective of the changing focus of the festivities of Christmas, I recall that when I was a kid, my focus was all about what present I was going to get. Then, as a young parent, it was about seeing the faces of my children as they first saw their gifts I had been assembling until 4 am. Now, as a grandfather, gifts for me don’t really seem to matter that much at all. (I didn’t even make an official list this year.) What matters to me now is having my children and their families here with me and my grandchildren on my lap. Holding a new-born in my arms and looking into her face as she sleeps sure tops any toys I ever received as a child (Yes, even my BB gun.) Praise God for his gift of three new grandchildren this year to hold and love.

  2. Mom said

    I agree with Dad 100%! We are truly blessed! I guess we could stop right here and say we had a great Christmas! Actually, we could stop right here and say we have a great life! Praise God for His amazing and undeserved blessings showered on us daily, and especially this year with 3 new family members…and Michael returned safely home! I am so rich, only because I have a King who owns it all and freely shares with me in ways I don’t even know I need. Speachlessly grateful, Mom

  3. jana said

    Tara,

    It was a great Christmas and I am so glad we were all able to be together.

    Dad, your post made me cry—I am so glad you love and enjoy your grandchildren so much. It meantso much to me to WATCH you hold newborn Mara Kate in your arms while we were all celebrating together. 🙂

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