And so this is Christmas.
The time of year when the whole world gives pause and breathes in the rhythm and message of the Christ child. The baby born to die so that we might live.
People tend to wrap themselves in the traditions of finding the perfect gift or out-decorating the neighbors, but most lend an ear and bend a knee to their creator for, at the least, one solitary day out of the year.
I'm a crazy Christmas fanatic. It isn't so much, my decorating flare, for my bows are plastic and my ornaments are homemade, but they are certainly hung by the chimney with care, before Thanksgiving.
When your parents were small, I wasn't a Santa fan. Grandpa Grover worked too hard in his 'browns' to let some fat guy in red take all the credit.
We tried not to go overboard with gifts, but concentrated instead on being together, playing games, and for the longest time "going to grandma's".
I will do my darndest to make Grandma's house part of your memories.
I will keep snowsuits and boots by the back door. I will suggest Grandpa make sleds for you out of cardboard boxes.
We'll fire up the fireplace and VCR for "A Christmas Story" and "Polar Express".
One Christmas eve, before you get too old, I'll set up a lionel train 'neath the boughs, purely to see the look on your faces Christmas morning.
I will keep an almost unlimited stock of cookie dough, sprinkles, and colored frosting, ready at a whim, to cut-out, bake, decorate and eat christmas cookies until we're sick.
Some evening, when the snow is falling fat and heavy, I will wake you shortly after bedtime and take you (dressed in your jammies, of course) on a neighborhood light tour.
We'll head to the lovely historic Frauenthal to see the magic that is America's tallest singing Christmas tree. Don't tell anyone, but it's a time-honored tradition where the local, not so politically correct high school students sing the gospel message right out loud in the public square.
I have Luke 2 & "Twas The Night Before Christmas," memorized and if you want, I'll help you do the same. But maybe we'll start with this one ...
“What can I give him,
Poor as I am?
If I were a shepherd,
I would bring a lamb;
If I were a wise man,
I would do my part;
Yet what I can I give him—
I'll Give Him my heart.”
As we sneak out to the porch to gather firewood, we'll stop and listen for church bells and soak in the silence of a pure Christmas morning, when the streets are empty and a heavenly air demands our attention.
So this is your first Christmas and I simply can't wait to see the light in your eyes.