What makes your Christmas great? As a young boy our Christmas was always a very special time of the year. There are fond memories of decorating our tree with tinsel, garland, and bright lights. The sheer excitement of Santa Claus coming with his bag of toys had us counting sheep and praying to God let me get to sleep. The next morning the eggnog and cookies we left for Santa were always gone and along with my sleepy eyed brother and sisters we all made a mad dash to the Christmas tree. For a child our hearts were full of joy to discover that everything we wished for made its way under the tree and into a fun filled day. But things were not always financially solvent in the Blair household. We had times of plenty and times of scarcity.
In fact, there was one year when our family was going through a very difficult time when my Father was unemployed and we were living temporarily with my Grandfather. Our lonely tree stood like a beacon in my Grandfather’s living room scantily decorated with only a few gifts. I was delighted that there was one small gift with my name affixed. Yet something was gloriously different that year! Grandmother was in the kitchen cooking up cookies, banana nut bread, and the most amazing fruit cake with its aroma filling the house. Grandmother was short and rather wide with rosy cheeks skirting about her kitchen getting ready to give a grand performance of her culinary abilities. Grandfather was a tall muscular man with a soft and gentle voice who cared greatly for others. As a lay preacher in a Pentecostal church he spoke often about the Love of Jesus and often read aloud from the Bible. That year there was warmth and a genuine love that permeated the whole house.
As Christmas grew nigh thoughts were no longer attached to a bountiful number of gifts but was adrift in the love of family and the true meaning of Christmas. On that Christmas morn we allowed Grandfather to read from God’s Holy Word first and then slowly and deliberately we opened each of our individual presents in turn. I can remember that year I received a balsawood airplane and the promise from my Father and Grandfather to help me to build and assemble it. Although in my mind I knew the cost of this present was nowhere close to what I had previously received it made little difference to a young boy’s heart that cherished the love attached to the gift. That year personal relationships between siblings, parents, and grandparents took precedence over the glitter and glamour of previous Christmases. I soon discovered that the gift of love was the most important gift of all.
Many Christmas have come and gone over the years. I have given and received much love, but no love can match the love of our Heavenly Father. A love so magnificent that He gave us His only Son, a love so incredible that He fills our hearts with the gift of His Holy Spirit, and a gift so marvelous that He is already transforming us into the glorious image of His Son one degree of glory at a time. Therein is the true meaning of Christmas – receiving and giving God’s love to others in the name of Jesus. Let’s continue to celebrate the love of Jesus this year and take no thought to the number of presents under the tree, but only the love that you have expressed to others. The memory of Christmas with my grandparents has been for ever etched into my memory as the greatest Christmas ever. Merry Christmas and God bless you all.
Copyright © 2012 Rev. Daniel W. Blair – Under the copyright law these articles may be used for nonprofit educational purposes. Please do so to strengthen your fellow believer to remain faithful to Jesus and obedient to His commandments.