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I’ve always enjoyed Christmas especially as a child. Most of the time the weather was crisp and on a few occasions snow arrived. Throughout my childhood and adolescence the days surrounding Christmas were spent playing Wiffle Ball, basketball, and when we had enough players, football. Christmas music has always been a favorite of mine. Silver Bells is probably my favorite song. Pie of all kinds, turkey and mashed potatoes, and fudge were all I really needed… or wanted.
Christmas morning was fun as a child, awakening early with my younger brother and quietly tip toeing out to the tree that seemed to magically transform overnight. One year we received a gift to share that both shocked and delighted us. Two little boys stood frozen in front of the tree in our pajamas and stared at the small black and white television with its own antenna marked “From Santa”.
That television stayed in our family for almost thirty years. Through moves, theft, and accidents the little black and white gift (that had a metal hanger in place of the original antenna) was finally moved on to spread joy to another family as it was donated to the Salvation Army.
On another Christmas morning my brother and I am snuck out of our room and oohed and aahed over the lights and presents that miraculously appeared overnight. After digging through our stockings we moved towards the tree and spent the next ten minutes trying to figure out what the large wooden box-like contraption, with a square cut in the front, was.
We finally gave up and were told later that morning, to our disappointment, it was a puppet holder for puppet shows.
Puppet shows? Who was going to do them?
We were told we were.
My brother and I looked at each other and grimaced.
No way was that happening.
Christmas for me is, has, and always will be about the children.
One child as a matter of fact.
The birth of Jesus is celebrated differently around the world and means different things to different people.
For myself Christmas is a celebration of life, of love, of joy.
It has always been the one day that could be counted on to provide peace if only for 24 hours.
The appreciation and kindness of and to others, or as the message a baby, would eventually bless us with.
Love God. Love one another.
Now the world just needs 364 more days like this.
Merry Christmas to all.
Let our present be our presence.