I have been alive for 44 Christmas Days. I know, I am only 43 but I was a whole week old at my first Christmas, so it still counts.
44 Christmas Days.
I can still remember years ago when I was very small, probably 4 at the most, we were at my grandparent's house. Everyone had told me that if I heard someone knock on the door that I needed to go answer because it was probably Santa. (my grandparents didn't have a chimney)
Man, I was SO excited! I crawled into bed with my sister ready to listen as long as needed for the *knock.* But, as soon as we were alone in bed my sister told me "You know it is only PaPa dressed up like Santa."
I still went and opened the door, but some of the excitement was gone for me. When I looked at Santa I could see my PaPa's eyes. Although, knowing it was him did make it OK for my Grandma to sit on his lap!!
I don't remember believing in Santa past that point. That's kind of the way for the younger ones.
My parents never went *crazy* at Christmas time. We got presents, but my parents didn't break the bank. But there was always plenty under the tree that put a smile on my face for quite some time.
When Denise was about 3, Bobby borrowed a Santa suit. We were staying at my parents and she was having a hard time going to sleep because of all the excitement. We told her that if Santa came and she was awake he would leave with the presents.
So, as planned, I drug a sleepy Denise out of bed because I thought I heard a noise. She shuffled down the hallway, eyes half closed.
Then...we rounded the corner and there was Santa, putting presents under the tree with his back to us. Her eyes flew open and she turned tail and RAN to bed and pulled the covers over her head!!
No WAY was Santa catching her awake.
We have movies of the kids when they were about 6 and 3. We LOVE to sit and watch little Denise and little Ethan open their presents. Just seeing their faces and the magic that shown in them. They would get up at 3am and come in our room....
And we were as excited as they were so we all got up....
Everything Ethan picked up he would yell "It's JUST what I WANTED!!"
Now my kids are 22 and 19. Christmas takes on a whole new meaning because Thomas the Tank Engine books no longer send Ethan into spasms of glee and Denise is not that impressed with an Easy Bake Oven.
Now we are shopping for adults who say, "Just get me _________ because I have been needing that."
Someday, at some point, when I have been around to celebrate a few more Christmas Days, I will have my babies' babies to buy for and that will be more wonderful for me than I can say. Just to see the wonder in their eyes and the love in the eyes of their own Moms and Dads, well, I can't even think about it without my eyes misting over.
'Tis the season to look back over the years and to look forward to the days to come. 'Tis the season to remember the reason, and remember His many blessing in my life, past and present and FUTURE!!
Oh, how I love Jesus...because He first loved me.