Christmastime is for telling favorite family stories. We love to sit around and reminisce about good, bad and ugly Christmases past. We retell our parents' stories to our children ("In my day," my Mom used to tell, "we got an apple and an orange in a stocking. And we were grateful for it.") and relive our own 23 year history of Christmases together.
Case in point is the tale of Jeff's and my first Christmas. We'd been too poor to get an engagement ring before we married, so he took me to the local jewelry chain and picked up a little diamond ring to go with my wedding band. I knew that was my Christmas gift, but I hoped for something else under the tree. It was our first Christmas after all! We'd been married exactly three months to the day.
Imagine my chagrin when I eagerly pulled open the wrapping of a gift he'd placed under the tree for me....
and inside was a penguin shaped ice scraper. And inside that, a bottle of Scope.
It was something we needed. It was on the list. He'd picked it up and thought, "Hmm, I'll just wrap this and put it under the tree." Knucklehead!! :-D The story lives in infamy; it's brought up every year. He's spent the next 22 years trying to do better (and mostly succeeding! LOL How could he not!?!).
This year's Christmas was a little different. Thanks to the wonder of technology, we were able to open gifts with Jeff in Afghanistan by way of a Skype video call. He had no gifts to open...in the remote village where he is stationed, there is little room for excess baggage; and whatever we send he'd have to carry on his back out of the country when he leaves. But he joyously watched as our three children opened their treasures and we celebrated together.
Mary, from Quilt Hollow, sent me a gift specifically for Christmas morning. A military wife herself, she knew Jeff's deployment meant very little under the tree for me. She sent me a Willow Tree angel...the perfect touch to let me know that not only is the Lord (and the friends he's given me!!) watching over me, but the spring (and Jeff's return) is not so far away.
I'm amazed that even in these little things -- a video visit, a gift from a friend, the stories of Christmases old and new -- the LORD is faithful. Jesus told his followers, "Are not two little sparrows sold for a penny? And yet not one of them will fall to the ground without your Father's leave (consent) and notice. But even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not, then; you are of more value than many sparrows" (Matthew 10:29-31 Amplified).
This is a Christmas to remember. Will's iPod touch, Sam's cymbals for his drums, Emily's video collection of "Boy Meets World." :-D The gift of a Savior, Christ the LORD!
And husbands and friends too marvelous for words!