Remember when you were a child and it seemed like Christmas would never come?
Christmas at my childhood home was magical. I grew up in the wintery wonderland of Indiana where it seemed we always had the perfect white Christmas. Even more awe inspiring was my parent's ability to weave the true meaning of Christmas and the childhood fantasy of Santa Claus into the everyday moments of the whole season.
I love thinking back to the anticipation I felt of wondering what I would find in the stocking each day. I no longer recall whether a new present would arrive in the stocking every day, or just on random days. I only remember that they were there. Stockings hung with great care and tiny presents anonymously delivered.
One of my favorite memories was one of service. I don't remember all the details. I just remember that another family had lost their home. My parents, having experienced the same before, gave us the opportunity to pick a gift to give to the family. One of our gifts. We didn't go to a store to buy something for the family. We went to our tree and picked a wrap present. It was a sacrifice that was personal. I didn't feel a loss. I felt thankful to share.
Years later I am thankful to my parents for the magical Christmas memories. I am thankful for the years of waking up to the sounds of Santa's reindeers and a house full of Christmas lights at the break of dawn on Christmas morning. I am thankful for all the nights we drove around looking at lights throughout the city. I am thankful for all the beautiful reminders of Christmas in every corner of every room of my childhood home. Most of all, I am thankful for the example of Christlike service that I saw and continue to see in the lives of my parents. It is the Spirit of Christmas. I pray the spirit of Christmas will permeate in our lives.