What am I thinking on the eve of Christmas? Let’s talk about it on Deeper Waters.
Christmas sure has changed over the years for me. As a kid, it was all about the presents. Was I going to get that new video game I wanted (Often two of them) and then spend the rest of the day hibernating in my room? Quite likely. I had a list made of various items that I wanted and eagerly awaited them. My family is Christian, but I don’t think I really thought too much of the religious aspect.
Today, it’s quite different. Now I won’t deny, it’s nice to get gifts, but for me, the greater joy is giving the gifts and seeing people open them, especially with my wife. She and I went to the mall together and would take pictures of items that we wanted, but I don’t really remember most of them.
My folks have a really big gift for me this year at least by looking at the box. Allie asks me if I know what’s in it. Of course, I don’t. She asks me if I wonder. Well I am curious of course, but I don’t spend much time thinking about it. I really have no idea what I’m getting tomorrow, and I’m fine with that. It’s nice, but that’s not my focus any more.
In fact, as I type this, my wife has the TV on a channel just playing Christmas music and I quite enjoy hearing them, most especially the ones about Christ. I listen more and more now to see if I can hear good theology in a song. Honestly, when a song like “Mary, Did You Know?” is played at my church, I just have to sit down. I can envision everything and it’s a powerful thought.
I also think back to great Christmases over the years.
I think it was the Christmas when I turned 17, but I remember I came downstairs as usual to get my gifts and after I had opened several, my Dad asked my Mom where the other gift was. She said his friend Kenny had brought it over and left it in the garage. Well he called to confirm and then went downstairs to the garage saying he’d bring it in. Turns out, he called from there saying he needed some help and asked me to come down. Odd. Today I weigh about 120. I probably weighed 100 then. What could I really do to help?
So I went to the garage.
That’s when I found out my folks had gone all out that year and my first car was sitting in the garage. For those interested, it was a Beretta.
Yes. I went to see all my friends that Christmas to show off my gift.
It would be hard to top a Christmas like that, but it is doable. This one I know the year easily. It was 2009. Allie and I had been dating for nearly four months, but I’d done a lot of work for this one. It was my turn to give the gift and I knew it was going to be one of the best gifts ever.
Allie was to spend Christmas with me and my family in Knoxville. I lived in Charlotte at the time and she in Atlanta. I picked her up at the airport and before we left, took her to the statue of Queen Charlotte right outside the terminal. She has always been my Princess after all and I wanted her to see something special.
And yeah, I had a hidden agenda.
While out there, I asked her if she’d ever thought about being a queen. She replied by saying “Only if you’re the king.”
“Well I guess you’ve made this easy for me.”
Then the silence from her as she opens her mouth in shock seeing me get down on one knee and open a little box with a little ring in it and ask “Allie Licona, will you marry me?”
And yes, I still smile thinking about it.
And I find it amusing that my cell phone went off at just that time.
Of course, I didn’t answer, but when we were done, I checked to see who it was thinking “Mom. You always call at the worst times. It figures you would call right now.”
Well, that was half-right.
It was Mom. It was just the wrong Mom. It was hers to let me know that Allie’s plane had arrived early. (Naturally, her parents knew all about this. I had asked their blessing beforehand)We’ve said that if we ever have kids, the story of what their grandmother did will be immortalized forever.
I guess I’ve just added to it right now by putting it up on my blog. (And in all seriousness as well, be praying for my mother-in-law. She has back surgery today)
Now Allie and I live in Knoxville and since we went to see her family last Christmas, this is the first Christmas where we’ll be here in our home and since we always went out of town in Charlotte for Christmas, this will be our first Christmas with our cat Shiro as well.
Christmas has certainly changed then from being a little boy with my own family to being a husband now with my own family, but there is something about Christmas that has never changed.
That would be Jesus of course.
Yet I can say my recognition of this holiday has improved over time. I now see it as a day of revolution. I see Christmas as God’s opening shot heard around the world. I see it as a call to arms. I see it as God setting in motion his plan to retake this world and deal with the problem of evil.
In the hustle and bustle of everything going on, it’s easy to lose sight of that reason for Christmas. I pray this year that I do not. Now that I have my own family, I have to be the one after all to help remember the focus. Being the one in ministry in my own family as well, I will often be looked to for the theological meaning and I have to hope to provide accurately.
So for me, Christmas has gone from being excited about getting gifts, to getting to share with other people gifts and to think about the greatest gift of all, the coming of Christ.
Merry Christmas everyone!