The closer it gets to Christmas, the more excited I become. Even folks who know me
only casually can see the change in my attitude. Just for the season, I trade in my usual
work face for the biggest smile I can muster. Hey, it's almost Christmas. Even my old
face won't crack if a grin replaces my usual scowl. By the way, the scowl isn't of the
Ebenezer Scrooge type. I'm just old and my skin droops.
Madison Avenue has done it's best to turn Christmas into a guilt-a-thon, buy-a-thon
celebration wherein parents are guilted into spending every penny they can spare on presents
for their progeny. Sometimes, the guilt is so bad they spend money they don't have (plastic).
That's too bad. Human beings are greedy. No matter how much you give some people, they're
not satisfied. I know, because I am one. Christmas is about the only time of year I find
myself able to look beyond my own wants and needs and think of others. That's a pity
because my Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ is not glorified by my actions. I should be
giving to worthy causes whenever possible.
It's a cliche these days, but I grew up poor. The log house where I was raised was drafty in winter,
with only a wood stove in the living room between us and freezing to death. Most of my life there, there was no heat anywhere else in the house. More than once, I awoke to find my nighttime glass of water frozen on the small table at my bedside. Thankfully, the land had plenty of trees to cut for firewood, because there was no money to buy fuel. Money went to food, clothing, utilities and keeping enough gas in the car to go to work. That's the same house where my beloved girlfriend, Pamela, came to live when she agreed to become my beloved wife. She had to love me, because I had no money to lure her. I wasn't worth much, but I was willing to work. So was my baby. Together we built a good life for our little family.
During our early wedded years, Christmas was lean by some standards. Now, we had plenty to eat. Gifts would be considered small by today's standards. Jeans, shirts and such necessities were the most often given presents for Mom and Dad, along with a few toys for Colt and Erica, our kids. Still, some years would see a necklace, ring or microwave show up. Most importantly though, we had each other. Having Christmas Day off with my wife didn't happen every year, as I worked in a hospital. Still, I was grateful for the times I could be home for Christmas morning. My kids still gripe about the year they had to postpone opening presents until I got off work. Oh, the joy of rotating shifts.
Now it's time for a small confession. While I can be just as avaricious as Mr. Scrooge ever was, cuddling up with my beautiful Pamela on Christmas Eve means more to me than anything I'll find under the Christmas tree. Dear, dear Lorfans, while you're wrapping up a copy of the Wanders for your
beloved, take a pause for some cuddling and hot chocolate. If you're fortunate, and skillful, soon more
than your beverage will be steaming. Make some memories! Enjoy!