December 25, 2019
The above mentioned question is probably impossible for you to answer. Especially if you are middle age or a senior citizen such as I am, and having had so many very memorable Christmas days. My answer is that I have had MANY favorite Christmas days. I’m sure that’s the case in your life too.
But I do want to write about some of my very favorite Christmas day memories.
The first one I remember well was when I was about six years old. My family: my brother, David, my sister, Lana, my parents and I lived next door to my grandparents, Jay and Mae Sinclair.
I remember so well going out into the woods with Granddaddy Jay and helping locate three cedar trees that we would cut down to use as Christmas trees. One for my grandparents house, one for my parents house, and one for my Aunt Leo Redmon’s house a few miles away.
Soon, the tree at our house began to fill up with gifts underneath it. David and I were so excited! My sister was too young that year to know much about what was going on.
Finally, Christmas morning came and we could open our gifts from Santa Claus and our families. I don’t remember all of the gifts I got that year, but I do remember one very well. It was a Bible storybook with many beautiful color pictures from great artists. I remember how much I enjoyed looking at the pictures and I read it completely through many times. It was a gift from my Grandmother Pansy Plumley.
Grandmother Pansy was not there that day since she had many children and grandchildren to see during that Christmas season. But we saw her a few days later at her home in a nearby town. She told my family, my mother and daddy included, that she wanted to read us the Christmas story from the Bible, from Luke chapter two.
She read us the story and explained that the word Christmas actually came from two words. Christ and Mass. She explained that a Mass was what some churches called a religious Christmas celebration.
My next favorite Christmas was mine and Sandra’s first Christmas together. I bought her a nice gift that year and had it wrapped beautifully at the store where I bought it. I placed it under the artifical aluminum Christmas tree we put up that year. She was so curious as what the gift was. I wouldn’t even give her a hint. Well, one day after I got home from work I noticed that Sandra had unwrapped the gift to see what it was. Naturally, she re-wrapped it, but I could tell it had been unwrapped. Eventually Sandra would admit to me that she used to slip around at her home before we got married and look for hidden gifts and un-wrap them too.
Then, when our children were all born and young, those were always special Christmases. Sandra would always make a special Christmas meal. She learned very well how to make chicken and dressing from my mother. All these years later she still makes that traditional feast for the family. We’ve been empty-nesters for many years, but now we have our children and grandchildren to cook for on Christmas day. The dinners are usually large, even though we don’t always get to have the whole family at one time. Sandra looks so forward to it every year. But this year she really overdid it making a big Thanksgiving feast, then later the Christmas dinner celebrated a few days early this year. She was literally exhausted this year. But she loved every bit of it.
What I’m sharing with you about my favorite Christmases is probably about the same for your family too. It, indeed, is my favorite holiday of the year, but only partly because of family coming together to love and exchange gifts. The gifts are a very minor facet of Christmas to most of us. Christmas is most special for two reasons. One is family, of course, but the most important thing about Christmas is the celebration of the world’s most awesome gift to all of humanity–Jesus Christ Himself; given to us by God to become the Savior of the whole world.
As I’ve gotten to be an old man, I’ve been blessed by God to have experienced many great Christmases with Sandra and family. But I learned real early in life about the Christmas story grandmother Pansy read to us when I was six years old. I plan to attend a Christmas Mass tonight if Sandra feels like it.
I don’t know your plans for this Christmas day, but I urge you to always keep Christ in Christmas. He is the gift that can not be purchased, and the source of all of life’s blessings.
God Bless You and Your Family,