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By Dr. James L. Snyder
It's hard to believe, but another Christmas has come and gone. It comes so slow but leaves so fast. I guess I'll never understand that. This Christmas was probably the most unusual that I have ever experienced.
When I was young, I remember those first Christmases; they were so slow in getting here. I think for the week leading up to Christmas, every day gained at least 10 new hours. By the time Christmas Eve arrived, I was so worn out waiting that I didn't know what to do.
I can't remember my first Christmas because I was only five months old at the time. I have a hard time remembering those early Christmases, but I'm sure they were times of fun and merriment. There were no cell phones at that time and so I have no selfies to show.
The day after Christmas, the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage and I were sitting around the Christmas tree drinking our morning cup of coffee. Looking at the tree brought back a lot of memories for both of us. My memories are vaguer than hers, but after all, it's the memory the counts.
At our stage in life, we are at what's called the empty nest stage, and the house is so quiet. Reflecting on this, I couldn't help but remember some of those Christmases were so loud and so much energy, I didn't think that Christmas Day would ever get over.
Leading up to Christmas in our house was quite interesting. The Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage puts everything together, and she has a plan for everything.
I remember one year trying to help her, and I just got in her way. Not only that, but I dropped a couple of Christmas tree ornaments, and they broke. To this day, I've never made up for that one.
As we were sitting around the Christmas tree, I remembered a Christmas when I was rather young. This would have been hundreds of years ago, I'm sure. That Christmas, my father got me a Daisy Red Ryder BB gun for my present. Those were the days when such a thing as that happened.
I was never so happy with a Christmas present in all my life. I can’t be sure how many boxes of BBs I went through that first month of having it. Nothing was more exciting to me than going outside and shooting my BB gun at anything and everything.
I certainly long for those good old days when you could be a man no matter how old or young you were. A BB gun was a great asset at that time.
I must confess that I had my BB gun confiscated during the first couple of days after Christmas. For some reason, I'm still not sure about it today, I was not supposed to shoot any windows in the house. I think, if I remember correctly, there were three windows I shot during that episode.
Not only did I have my BB gun confiscated, but there was a Christmas spanking that went along with that. I can almost feel the spanking today.
When I got my BB gun for Christmas, nobody told me that there were certain things I wasn't supposed to shoot. It wasn't my fault that I shot a window. It was my parent's fault for not telling me not to shoot a window. However, they were not interested in why I shot the window, only that I shot the window.
In a couple of weeks, I did get it back and was very careful what I shot from that moment on. I remember I had a great time with it. I only wished I had that BB gun now. I often wondered what happened to that BB gun.
I chuckled as I told my wife the story of my BB gun.
As much as I tried, I never got a similar story from my wife. I know there were several, but I could never get her to own up to that truth. Of course, she knows if I had that kind of information that I could use it to my advantage.
What I have discovered about wives is that they talk a lot but know when not to talk. As far as husbands are concerned, they don't talk that much, but they never know when not to talk.
Admiring our Christmas tree for this year was a very special time. In a week or so, that tree would be taken down, the ornaments packed away, and the tree put back up into the attic where we stored it. While it was up, though, it was wonderful to think about all of the activities that happened around that tree.
Of course, down through the years, we have replaced that tree several times. But it's the thought that really matters. All the wonderful stories that come from that tree certainly bring cheer to our hearts. We spent some time talking about the gifts we gave and the gifts we got.
As we were reminiscing, I remembered a verse of Scripture that has encouraged me.
“I have shewed you all things, how that so labouring ye ought to support the weak, and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, It is more blessed to give than to receive” (Acts 20:35).
It’s not what you get that really matters, but what you give and the reason behind that giving.
Dr. James L. Snyder is pastor of the Family of God Fellowship, Ocala, FL 34472, where he lives with the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage. Call him at 352-216-3025 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. The church web site is www.whatafellowship.com.
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