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My Favorite Christmas
On the night before Christmas, I always regress to simpler times.
The lights dancing off the Christmas tree ornaments hypnotize and lull
me back into the innocence of childhood. Cynicism gives way to hope. Disappointment
to dreams. Busyness to calm. Christmas makes me vulnerable.
That's a good thing. Every now and then, it is nice to take a vacation
from maturity and digress into childishness. Christmas is a perfect time
to do that.
It is easy for me to drift into nostalgia during this season, longing
to relive the blessings of the past. If I try real hard, I can see my little
sister comb the ringlets in her hair sitting at the new vanity she got
for Christmas. And I can still feel the bitter cold on my face the year
my parents gave me a bicycle and I insisted on riding it on the snow packed
Christmases create special memories, and like marks on the closet door,
they help us measure our lives. Low on my door are the Christmases we spent
at our grandparent's house in Oklahoma, higher up are the years Mom and
Dad decided to stay home to build our own traditions. Then comes the first
Christmas Susan and I shared together, the ones with our small children
and the rare years we "went home" for Christmas. Then there are the ones
that are carved in the door, not just marked with a pencil.
Like the year, Susan's Father almost died. That Christmas stands out
in bold print, shouting from the other hash marks on the closet door. Bad
stuff isn't supposed to happen on Christmas Day. It was a terrible Christmas.
Funny thing, as painful as that day was then, it makes the Christmases
that have followed even more special. You might even call it my favorite
Christmas memory. Not because he almost died, but because he didn't.
Read the sermon
that corresponds to this devotional.