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Tuesday, December 25, 2012

the spirit of christmas

"Angels" by Mark Mabry, Reflections of Christ

Merry Christmas, to all my friends and family! 

Every year, I think about growing up with and being raised by my grandparents. The tradition was that we would wake up before 6am and gather in the hallway. At the end of the hallway our grandfather would be sitting in his huge chair, blocking both the entrance to the room full of gifts, but also the view of Santa’s Workshop, where Mrs. Claus was tending to last minute details.

Once the workshop had closed down, we burst into the room and filled with excitement and cheer ran to our own spots as close to the tree as possible. We always began opening presents one by one, in order, but eventually we grew tired of waiting and ripped through the entire room like a Christmas tornado.

We tried on most of our gifts or had to pick them out for whatever reason, but there were always a few surprises. It was Christmas 1996; the madness began to die down, but I noticed some things sitting near the workshop away from all the gifts. Without trying to sound selfish and ungrateful, I gently inquired to whom did they belong. Our grandparents laughed as they smiled and looked at each other. They forgot about them, almost entirely. Brand new bicycles for all of us! I almost passed out.

That year, our grandparents had gone above and beyond what they could really afford. It was not a special Christmas because of the gifts and the brand new bike. It was they way we all felt and how much love was in our home. For one day, the sibling rivalry was not as intense; I did not throw as many tantrums, and we each did our part to help each other and do what was asked of us. 

I will never forget these feelings I have about Christmas and growing up with my dysfunctional family. Christmas 1996; however, seemed so extra special and it was. We lost our grandfather, Santa Claus, a few months later. I think he knew it was coming and decided to make his last Christmas as wonderful for us as possible. He filled our house with gifts, both material and spiritual, in nature. To me, that bike represents his selflessness, his love for me, and how much he wanted the very best for us all.

Despite not believing in an actual Santa Claus, there really is a special spirit of Christmas. Whether you celebrate it or not, I truly believe that there is a spirit of increased joy, giving, peace, love and cheer that enters our world and hopefully our hearts during this season and day. We have the opportunity to be Santa to our friends, family, neighbors and strangers, alike. Spreading joy and giving gifts of all kinds is not limited to just one person. "Santa Claus" is able to visit each home when each of us let that special spirit enter our hearts.

I wish you a Merry Christmas, wherever you are and whomever you are with. Please remember it is not about the presents; it’s about the way you make people feel. Go out of your way to make everyone in your life feel magical, special and sincerely loved.

You have been caught Jey Walking!

"Father" by Mark Mabry, Reflections of Christ