When I think of Christmas, I think of Hope, Encouragement and Joy. And I think of my favorite British author – Charles Dickens and his story – A Christmas Carol. My favorite version is George C. Scott as Scrooge.
I know the holidays are stressful for some, become abusive for others, and over all, are not a bright time of the year. The days are shorter, and darkness invades us all. This time of year can become depressing and are not filled with great optimism, joy or happiness. I know of those times, but I choose to be joyful, be optimistic and see a positive in every darkness. A Christmas Carol, displays this thought so perfectly. Bob Cratchit is a beautiful character who makes the best of a bad situation. And through him, Tiny Tim, displays the same attitude. There is hope for all, ever Mr. Scrooge.
As I think of Christmas Past, I see, as Scrooge did in his youth; happiness, joy, laughter, Christmas food, and eggnog as we open presents on Christmas eve. (Yes, opening presents on Christmas Eve is a German tradition.) My grandparents had a fireplace but we never hung Christmas stockings on it, thereby all Christmas presents were under the tree. Oh, the fragrance of a fresh pine tree! As a young child, my mom and grandmother would take my brother and I to look at Christmas lights early on Christmas Eve. While we were enjoying the sites, my dad and grandfather would add presents under the tree and pretend Santa came while we were out. Oh, the excitement to see MORE presents under the tree. The joy of experiencing new toys, dolls, Nerf guns, Snoopy watches, books, new pajamas and house slippers, and of course new clothes, hats and gloves was so exciting. Then on Christmas day, my great aunt and uncles would come for dinner and bring MORE presents. Receiving a $1 coin from a quiet old German uncle was a very big deal to a 7 year old!
Christmas Present, as an adult has been similar in many ways, we still open presents Christmas eve, drink eggnog and eat Rum Balls. The celebration includes a smaller group of us, with fewer gifts and no toys as kids have grown, and no wee little grandkids run about during the holiday. But the joy, happiness, laughter, teasing, Christmas food, and eggnog still exist. Many of the older family has passed on, so we are now down to 5 of us for dinner. On Christmas day we sleep in, cook a leisurely dinner all set to eat at 2pm. No new fangled toys, or children playing with newest game, but adults enjoying the quiet of Christmas. The feeling is contentment, hope and joy of family, and the celebration of the birth of our Christ Lord.
Christmas Future, ah who knows. No one can see the future, but I envision similar traditions. I hope to share my tradition of opening gifts on Christmas eve and drinking my mother’s famous homemade egg with a kind, gentle, protective companion. But really, I want to share with ALL the encouragement, joy, happiness, and HOPE I feel as I celebrate my Lord’s birth on earth. Ultimately, to bring us to Easter for the ultimate HOPE for all.
God Bless Us, Every One! Merry Christmas!