Each year my parents would buy our family one “major” gift. As children we would be up sometime around 5AM and head towards the living room door. We were not allowed “in” the living room, so looking over at the gifts that were not there the night before in the hallway light was just “painful.”
Our family traditions were simple on so many levels. Once our parents were up we were allowed to open handmade stockings from our grandmothers. They contained gold coin chocolate, tangerines and walnuts, as well as one or two special smaller gifts. Then off to breakfast, to return to open the larger gifts.Christmas was a magical time for me.
I would see those large gifts, sometimes put under the sofa or behind the recliner. How awesome!
Today as a grandfather (I am still the first to rise!) I will watch children enjoying the miracles and the magic of the day. My children will be here along with grandchildren today and tomorrow. Nothing can describe the joy in my heart.
Last night as we celebrated Jesus at our home fellowship I sat there and looked around with wonderment at all the new people. Folks whose lives have been changed by a simple action. The acceptance of the King of Kings, Jesus! Whether you believe it was October or December the birth celebration of the one who was, is and is to come is life changing.
I look at all the faces on Facebook this morning and over the last few days and I am reminded of the ones whose faces are not there. The ones who left behind family and friends departing too early. Emptiness where a person had once stood. My own parents, various friends, all leaving behind people who loved, people who cared.
I encourage you to make the most of this day. To capture the joys of the moment and bottle them for later.
But the reason I celebrate Jesus and His birth is not just for this day but for all the days to come. There is a growing understanding of “He loves me” in the world today. And that my friends, makes it all worthwhile. It is not the presents of the day or even the lack of presents today. It is about Him loving a world that did not appreciate Him. But because He loved us we can love Him.
Don’t judge a life by the presents under the tree. Measure your life by the love in your heart and the hope set before you. Look around and simply count your blessings.
May Christmas 2013 be the start of something simply amazing!