I know I am jumping the gun on this a little, since Thanksgiving is this week, but, this is what was on my mind this morning. Christmas to me was (and is) a magical time of year. I can remember Christmases when I was 4 years old, and as a family we would drive out to look at Christmas lights. One area in particular went all out, and every year we looked forward to seeing all of the decorations.
My mother would paint a huge Christmas scene on our living room picture window, and I was always amazed as I watched it take shape. One year it would be Christmas ornaments, another year would be holly and the words "Merry Christmas!" Each scene to me was special.
Of course, the idea of presents and Santa Claus always thrilled me as well. I know I started trying to find presents my parents might have bought, so I could "preview" the upcoming celebration, but I only succeeded once, and then was let down when nobody in our family got that present that year. In later years, I asked my parents about that. I had seen a beautiful red fire engine hidden deep in a closet. It turned out to be a present hidden in our house by friends of the family for their kids. No Fair!
I also remember the year I decided to try to catch Santa in the act. I waited until the house was quiet, then I creeped out to our family room area where the tree was located. There, I hid behind our sectional couch, where a door opened towards the back of the curved part of the sectional. That's where I was when I awoke the next morning. The sly, old Elf had put me to sleep before he made his delivery.
I have tried to carry on many of these traditions in my family today. We carol every year to friends, as we take them Christmas goody plates. We decorate the entire house, inside and out (more inside than out lately). We go out and see the decorations, and enjoy the season.
In all of this, we do one more thing. We remember and honor the "Real" reason for the season. We thank our Father in Heaven for the gift His son gave to all of us. We remember Him. We thank Him. We honor Him.
Have a Merry Christmas this year. Stick.