A Different Type of Christmas

What does your ideal Christmas morning look like?

For many years, the Dalys began in the pre-dawn dark around 6:00 A.M. Jean and I would hear the scampering sound of little feet running down the hall towards our room. Bursting through the door, Trent and Troy would leap onto our bed, urging us to get up and come down to the tree and all the presents that seemed to have mysteriously appeared overnight.

Little did they know we had gotten to sleep only a few hours earlier, just after the bikes had been assembled, the last present was wrapped, and the stockings filled.

Holding them back was next to impossible, and we’d soon make our way into the living room and commence the exchange and opening of gifts. It was always a lot of fun, a time marked by laughter and squeals of delight.

I’m reminded of the late television commentator Andy Rooney’s poignant observation.

“One of the most glorious messes in the world is the mess created in the living room on Christmas day,” he once said.  “Don’t clean it up too quickly.”

Trent is now in college, and Troy is a junior in high school. Christmas morning is a lot more relaxed these days for us. We’re more likely to wake them up, and the scamper is more like a shuffle as they casually make their way downstairs.

Maybe Jean and I are a little nostalgic lately for those seemingly halcyon days. Distance tends to lend enchantment to the view. It’s always great when our kids grow up, but that doesn’t mean you don’t miss some elements of the earlier years.

Those were happy, magical moments, treasured times seared in our memories.

The traditions of Christmas may change through the years – yesterday’s gifts of toys become today’s technology and other practical presents like books and sweaters.

Yet, as the author of Hebrews wrote, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever” (13:8).

Here at Focus we’re aware that some parents never get to celebrate Christmas with older kids. Maybe a tragedy cut short a childhood or a divorce complicates family gatherings. Heartbreak comes in many forms, but all of it stings, even years later.

I enjoyed just nine Christmases with my mom and even fewer with my dad. They’re like faded snapshots in my mind now. In fact, I can hardly remember the sound of my parents’ voices.

If this Christmas is a difficult one for you, I hope you might give us a call and let us know how we can be of help to you.

If you’re surrounded by loved ones and looking forward to a family celebration, we rejoice with you.  Don’t take this year’s gathering for granted.  Savor it.

Years ago, I heard a story about a little boy who was asked to define the word love.

His answer?

“Love is what’s in the room with you at Christmas if you stop opening presents and just listen.”

Isn’t that good?

Don’t forget to stop and just listen as you open gifts.

From the Daly home to yours, merry Christmas!

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Jim Daly

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