Christmas Memories

Lighting his pipe the old man settled back into his easy chair. It was the day after Christmas and the family was gone. It had been a whirlwind of activity. Their children and grandchildren had come and spent the day. Signs of their presence were all over the house, scraps of wrapping paper, unmade beds, and paper plates and cups were scattered everywhere. But his wife and he wouldn’t have it any other way. They loved Christmas.

In his mind, he could still hear the grandkids giggle. Being the patriarch he had the best seat in the house. As a child opened a present they would bring it to him. He would take his pocket knife and cut bands, slit seals, and tape; whatever it took to free the toy. The child’s excitement was contagious.

Now everyone had gone home and he felt a huge letdown. The lights, both inside and out had been turned off. The darkened tree in the corner was a stark reminder of happier times. Frosty sat dark and alone in the side yard, and the Nativity scene, once heralding Christ’s Birth, has transcended into dark pieces of molded plastic. The finality of it was stark.

It was his favorite holiday and it had been all of his life. Now he must wait another year to enjoy it again. To enjoy the music, food, lights, and his family he cherished.

Somber thoughts began to invade his mind. He wasn’t getting any younger and the rigors of Christmas sometimes got the best of him. They say, “Getting old ain't for sissies.” He tended to agree.

But he also knew he would do his best. It was inevitable that his life was going downhill. His aches and pains attested to that. His wife felt exactly the same way.

His wife and he were born-again Christians. They had given their hearts to the Lord many years ago. They had raised their children in church and had proudly watched them accept Christ into their hearts.

Now as he reflected on the holidays, he couldn’t help but think he probably didn’t have many Christmases left. It was all right. He had decided to celebrate Christmas every day until Christ called him home. He knew Christ was the epitome of Christmas, and he welcomed it with open arms. Christ was Christmas.

He bowed his head and prayed, “Thank you, Father, for your son. Thank you for my family. And thank you for your love. Someday I will see you. Until then help me enjoy Christmas and honor you. I pray this in Jesus’s name.”

December 24, 2020