Yesterday I passed by the mall, note I said I passed by the mall, and the parking lot was full. I thought of the many emotions shoppers were likely experiencing as they made purchases, looked for bargains, and rested tired feet. It brought to mind my own experiences with Christmas over the years with one in particular coming to mind.
My brother Wilkie and I generally knew how to find our gifts before Christmas morning. The “hunt” was as exciting as the discovery. When I was about nine or ten, our hunt found no toys, anywhere, not even in the attic. At some point, I came to the realization there were none.
Christmas Eve that year was a gray, cloudy, cold, and bleak Saturday, and so was my mood. I thought surely Mama would get ready to take the ten o’clock bus to town and buy our toys and gifts. No, she had already begun cooking for the next day. I still remember the resolve in standing in the back room near the kitchen drawing pictures in the condensation covering the window.
It would make a heartwarming movie to say we awakened the next morning to a room full of toys under the tree. That was not the case. I may have gotten a coloring book or a little water coloring set and my brother about the same or a cap pistol.
Surprisingly when I look back on that Christmas, I’m not sad, hurt, nor disappointed. I am thankful I had a family, food, and love. I’ve come to realize for those times we may not have gotten extravagant gifts for Christmas we were more than compensated with the gifts my parents gave us all year by example: faith, charity, respect, sharing, with love of family, friends, and humanity. Above all they gave us the teaching that led us to receive the greatest gift of all, the love God offers.
When I think of that Christmas, I am reminded of all the gifts I’ve received that cannot be wrapped in beautiful paper tied with a bow. The number cannot fit in the room that holds the tree.
What precious gifts will you give this Christmas? How many will last a lifetime?
Biblical Affirmation: …and the greatest of these is love. I Corinthians 13