Sunday, December 23, 2007

Remembering Christmas Morning

It was the only time my seven older siblings let me be the first in line, and I think Mom made them do it. Christmas morning all eight of us would wait at the top of the stairs all lined up, youngest to oldest. We waited while Mom saw to the last minute details and Dad shaved and dressed. It always seemed to take my dad at least two hours to get ready for the big day. Finally Mom would call, "Alright, you kids can come down now," and we all scrambled down the stairs and around the corner to the tree. In those early years before we got more civilized, Christmas morning was a ten minute tornado with wrapping paper and ribbons and cardboard swirling into huge piles.

Special gifts come to mind. I remember a favorite stuffed animal, a donkey that my sister Jean gave to me. And I remember my purple Vikings football jersey, my electric football game that Jim and John played with all day long, and my first new bicycle. And my brother Jerry's Hot Wheels and chemistry set. Then there was always a present for each of us from Grandma and Grandpa Barnes with new pajamas, always pajamas, but at least they didn't have big pink bunny ears like Ralphy's. More than the gifts themselves was the feeling of genuine love and joy that filled our home, around the tree and around the table.

Christmas morning. There's nothing like it. For a brief little window of time, we are all children again, we are all warm and safe and loved, our fondest wishes come true. Cherish the moment. Give love. Speak peace. Celebrate joy. Find faith to believe. Merry Christmas!

1 comment:

K.M. said...

Just spent the last several minutes going through your thoughts and stories. Ever thought of writing a book? You put the spin on things in just the right way to make a person think.

Christmas morning was never really about the presents (well, maybe a bit). I remember it as a morning full of love, the smell of freshly brewed coffee and rolls baking, and receiving the most beautiful pink sweater I think I could have ever imagined. Trying to pretend I hadn't peeked, though Mom knew better seeing as how she hid them in the same spot each year. My parents raving over whatever small but thoughtful gift their children had come up with. And the tree that we had gone into the field to retrieve a few weeks before and decorated with all of our homemade items from school and church. Mostly remembering the love.

Love to you and your family this Christmas and thanks for helping us remember to put our Lord in the center of it.