And I am so thankful.
I mean, Christmastime always made me a little nervous. Over the many years, I have come to learn what Christmas is really all about. It is about celebrating the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ. It is also a season of giving. And, as a kid, it was the giving that bothered me.
When I was a kid, there were no i-pods, or game-boys or any other types of video games. The types of gifts we got were those paddle ball games. Remember them? It was a small wooden paddle with a red rubber ball attached to a rubber string that was stapled to the paddle. I imagine we looked pretty goofy trying bounce that ball off that paddle. Well, once the string broke (and we never did find that stupid ball), Mom would write our name on the paddle and hang it on a hook in the kitchen. Yeah, we each had our own personal paddle, so whenever we got a spanking, we got spanked with our very own personalized paddle.
Not that I was a bad kid or anything, but the strangest thing I ever got spank with was…”Hot Wheels” tracks. Yep, momma raised a few speed bumps on my backside.
She must have smacked me hard one time, because one day, all of a sudden, it occurred to me…”Dude……you’re being spanked……. With your own toys!”
My life changed after that. Each Christmas, Sears would put out a catalog called the “Christmas Wish Book”. Mom would pass it around to each of us kids and we were to circle the items on our “Wish List” with a pen and dog-ear that page. I started circling things like socks, or underwear. One year, I even circled a pair of Bermuda shorts! (Yes, it was a long time ago).
Mom insisted I chose some toys, but I told her, “No, thank you. I don’t want anything. I don’t even need the socks. I’m fine. Really!”
My parents were so proud. They thought that I had figured out the true meaning of Christmas and that I was becoming “spiritual”. Little did they know that it had more to do with self-preservation that anything else.
(I am so glad I never got that wood-burning kit I wanted!)
But, that was then, and this is now (which was also my favorite book in Junior High).
Now I have other reasons for dreading Christmas. Don’t get me wrong. My favorite time of the year is standing at our big picture window, next to our decorated Christmas Tree, watching the snow fall in our front yard while sipping a cup of hot chocolate.
I just get tired of all of the commercialism and greediness that comes along with the season.
I also don’t care much for hearing the tone of my daughter’s voice on the phone which tells me she is saddened that she didn’t get anything from her daddy at Christmas. Oh, I sent her some gifts. I made sure they were there before Christmas so she’d have them Christmas morning, but her mother said my package didn’t arrive. Strange that had a delivery confirmation from the post office proving that the package DID arrive on time. I guess it suffered the same fate as all those cards and letters I sent her, and the telephone messages that “disappeared” from their answering machine.
I really wanted her to be able to open her gifts on Christmas morning since I designed them myself. You can see them here.
I still don’t know if she’s received anything yet. I haven’t been able to get her on the phone. Her mother is doing all she can to kill our relationship, and it is killing me.
I have high hopes for 2008. It is starting out a little rough, but I know God loves me and will take care of me. He is in control, so I'll keep on trusting in Him.
I sat down tonight on the couch to eat my dinner (Catherine makes a great salad and baked potato) and I turned on the TV. There was old episode of “Reba” on. It was the one about when her youngest daughter wanted to move out of the house and Reba prayed. “God, please don’t let me lose my daughter”.
Yeah, I know exactly how she feels.
I don’t normally tear up over a sitcom, but that one got me.
I think the best Birthday Present we could give Jesus each Christmas would be if we could all just get along and show Christ’s love for each other, even when we don’t want to.
What do you think?