Each Friday, at least for the foreseeable future, I will be sharing a blog post from the past. These will be posts from other places that I have retained the rights once again, or from this blog. I hope you enjoy these entries. I know they are ones that have made me smile.
This post originally was posted December 5, 2012.
Christmas lights, tinsel, decorations galore…this is such a wonderful time of the year! It is easy to get sidetracked with the shiny ribbons and presents that sit beneath the oh so wondrous Christmas tree. But each year as I begin to get caught up in the season and all its glorious trimmings, I pause to remember the year we cancelled Christmas. Yes, that’s right. We cancelled Christmas.
You see, we had forgotten what the season was really about. We had become a home filled with discontent and contention. We were too busy being focused on US rather than on Christ. We forgot that the Christmas season is one of love and hope and giving. And quite frankly, now that I am a parent, I can appreciate that my parents had just had ENOUGH! It was time to take drastic measures and cancelling Christmas was pretty much what we needed at the time.
You know the back story now. So let me share how we got there the night we cancelled Christmas and what God did to save it and remind us that this was a season of JOY and not misery…
It was a cold December night and just a few days before Christmas. We kids were out of school and we did what all brothers and sisters do best…argue. You know what I am talking about. And we hadn’t been just doing it that day. We had been doing it for DAYS and DAYS.
“She touched me!”
“He’s looking at me!”
“Don’t! It’s MINE!”
“You’re a dork!”
“I hope you get nothing but COAL for Christmas! You don’t deserve anything else…”
“Hey, that’s MINE!”
“Don’t push me!”
“Quit hitting me!”
“I’m going to throw your doll in the fireplace if you look at me again!”
“You burn my doll, I’ll burn your cars!”
“Stop picking on me!”
“Don’t punch me!”
“Don’t pull my hair! I’m telling!”
“Don’t be such a tattletale!”
“Oh yeah? Well you’re a BABY!”
“No I’m NOT! I’m going to tell everybody you are dumb!”
“You are so lucky to live with us! Mom and Dad just felt sorry for you when they found you on the side of the road like roadkill.”
“I’m not adopted!”
“Yes you are. You don’t even look like the rest of us. You have blonde hair and we all have brown.”
“Mom! They said I’m roadkill and adopted!”
It was about at this point that the parental units had reached their boiling point and declared it was enough:
“ONE more WORD and we are cancelling Christmas! That means taking the tree down and returning all the presents.”
“But she’s looking mean at me…”
“That’s IT! Christmas is cancelled!”
We sat in utter and complete shock as my parents began to undecorate the tree. OUR tree. They were serious!
“NO! Just give us ONE MORE CHANCE!” we begged and sobbed.
It was about this time that headlights entered our drive. Where we lived, people didn’t just stop by. We were a destination. People only came if they meant to come. There were no accidental visitors. A few moments later, there was a knock at our front door. We all looked at each other and someone finally opened the door…
What we saw when we opened that door was a very skinny Santa and some elves holding a plate of cookies and singing a Christmas carol. We couldn’t have been more shocked. We invited them in and pretty soon we were all laughing with Santa and the elves. Christmas was saved! We found the spirit of Christmas and were forever changed. We remembered what it was to feel JOY and that helped prepare us to talk about Christ and his birth.
A couple of days later, we were at church and my mother and I were talking with the family that had saved Christmas for us. My mom thanked them and related what had been going on in our home just before they arrived. The father of the family commented, “Well, that explains it then. We were out delivering cookies and we were sticking fairly close to home. But we had an overpowering feeling and prompting that we really NEEDED to visit your family. So we bundled into the car and came over. I’m so glad we listened and came to visit.”
They probably don’t remember all of that and the impact they had on my family. But we have never forgotten. You see, God often takes care of us through the service of others. He knows what is going on in our lives and He cares. He loves us. He wants us to feel JOY. And sometimes, he even sends us skinny Santa’s and Elves with cookies to remind us.