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A Christmas Story

December 19, 2008 1 comment

I love this time of year. The air is crisp and the Christmas lights are twinkling. There is just something about this season. It takes me back to a simpler time…

We drove through the unfamiliar neighborhood. The houses were all decorated elaborately. The warm air was blowing out of the vent across the windshield carrying the sweet scent of antifreeze. It was really cold outside. The street and lawn were covered with a fine layer of snow and the flakes were continuing to come down. Strange that it had not been snowing on my block. It did not snow often in the small town we lived in. What a wonderful treat this was.

“Okay, champ, there it is.” My dad seemed a bit excited – almost giddy as he pointed up the drive to one of the largest houses on the block. The lights were amazing. The property was ornately decorated with what had to be thousands of lights. Even though there was a lot going on it did not seem to be too much. It was really beautiful. We pulled up to the front gate and this rather odd looking little guy stepped out. My dad got out of the car and opened the door for me. I stepped out and examined the little man that had just received the car keys. He wasn’t much taller than I was. “How is he going to even reach the pedals?” I thought as we were ushered through the front gate and directed down a winding path towards the big house. The path wove back and forth, in and around, through the lit trees and other decorations. The falling snow glimmered as it fell against the multicolored lights. We passed some mechanical reindeer calmly rooting through the snow trying to get at the grass under it. At least, I think they were mechanical. I could have sworn that I caught two of them moving about out of the corner of my eye. We made it to the house and rang the doorbell. It played “Carol of the Bells” and almost immediately the door was opened by another diminutive man who asked for the invitation. My dad dug in his coat pocket and pulled out a small red and white card. All it had on it was my name. The little man took the card and welcomed us into the foyer. The outside of the house belied the enormity of the inside. And was it decked out. There was garland and ribbon all around. Lights were flashing and the whole place smelled like freshly baked cookies and hot chocolate.

Around the corner came a lady that reminded me much of my grandmother. She was a large woman with a very warm and friendly face. She smelled a bit like gingerbread, I think. The small man handed her the card. “We have been waiting for you,” she said with a smile. “Follow me.” We walked down a long hallway lined with doors. Most were closed but I did glimpse what looked like an office or study. In it was an enormous desk stacked with papers and bags and bags of what looked to be letters. I couldn’t see much more than that. The kindly lady motioned us to enter a large room at the end of the hall. As I entered, I noticed other kids, nine of them, sitting around a large chair. They seemed as confused as I was. Nervous excitement filled the air. Suddenly, a door on the other side of the room opened and a rather large red-cheeked man walked in. He had a great big smile on his face and made his way to the large chair.

“That looks like…”

“Go have a seat, dear. It is time for the story. And you,” she said looking at my dad, “can join the other parents in the kitchen. We have all kinds of goodies for you in there,” the kindly old woman said as they exited the room.

I sat down with the others and caught the gaze of the man seated in the large chair. He looked old and wisdom radiated in his eyes. There was something about this guy. He commanded respect but his persona was very warm and inviting. He seemed genuinely interested in each kid – somehow seeming to know him or her personally.

He started speaking. “Merry Christmas, boys and girls. You have been invited here to hear a very special story. It is a remarkable story of love.”

He told a story of a woman, a carpenter, an angel and a great promise. A long journey and no place to stay except for a stable filled with hay. The woman gave birth to a very special child and laid him in a manger. There were more angels, a star and shepherds and wise men. And joy. Great joy that night.

“Any questions or comments,” he asked as he finished. Everyone sat there quietly. “That is the greatest story ever told. I wanted you to hear the real reason for Christmas. It is not about getting presents or toys. Well, I suppose it is about getting one present – the Lord Jesus Christ.”

A little blonde-headed girl held up her hand. “What happened after that to the baby named Jesus,” she asked.

“Well, the story that starts at His birth, as remarkable as that is, only gets better from there. You see, God loves us so much that He gave His only son for us. That is the reason for Christmas. We have turned it into something else but you, boys and girls, need to always remember the real reason. And we all should tell others.”

“But what happened to the baby Jesus,” she asked again.

“He grew up, did many wonderful things, and proved to everyone that He loved us. But, Grace, that is a story for another time. “

The matron of the house escorted the parents back into the room. It was time to go. The old man greeted each parent as they retrieved their children.

“Max, it is good to see you again. I remember when you came for your story time and your father and his father,” he said. My dad looked at him with eyes of wonder and as we said our goodbyes the man looked at me and said, “Always remember that Jesus is the reason for the season. It is all about him. Young man,” he said with a chuckle, “I will see you again. I am sure of it. Probably in about thirty years or so.”

I wondered how he could know that. The little man delivered our car and when he got in dad didn’t even have to move the seat back. The drive back was quiet as I thought about that story and everything that had happened. As we turned into our neighborhood, I noticed the snow had stopped and the streets and lawns were absolutely dry.

We hope that your family remembers the true reason for Christmas this year. It is so easy to get caught up in all the “stuff” that so easily takes control at Christmas. Have a blessed Christmas. As the wise old man said, it is all about Jesus.

Merry Christmas from the Dorseys

Categories: Humor, Religion