|Photo Credit: http://www.millards.org|
As a kid, I always felt sorry for my older cousins at Christmas time. They were about 15 years older than our family of kids and when we visited during the holidays, all they had under their tree were boxes of shirts, ties, sweaters and skirts! How could Christmas be fun for them? Also, to my complete horror Santa would usually come to their home after dinner on Christmas Eve while they were out for a short ride. “This way we can sleep in on Christmas morning” they would explain. Our family was in strict observance of “the rules” clearly detailed in 'Twas the Night before Christmas.
On Christmas Eve, I carefully set the alarm and placed it under my pillow. I knew that if the alarm woke my four brothers I would be in huge trouble so I was careful to conceal it. On Christmas morning, as the sun came shining through our bedroom window, my little brothers woke me and told me to hurry downstairs, Santa had come, hurry up! What? I pulled the alarm clock from under my pillow and inspected it carefully. I realized that through the night the weight of my head on the pillow must have accidentally pushed in the stop button....or hmm…could mom have foiled my secret plan? Regardless, I shot down the stairs consuming four steps at a time only to be the last to arrive. My new bicycle gleamed in front of the tree, along with piles of other presents. What joy my parents had to see the look on my face as I saw the gift for the first time. This was one of the best Christmas mornings of my childhood. Later I was told that Grandpa had hidden the bicycle in his basement and brought it over after we had gone to bed.
This Christmas, I will be happy with a shirt and a sweater, I will also be thrilled to watch my grandchildren open their gifts. Along with you, I will also remember the first Christmas when there were shepherds staying in the fields nearby, guarding their flocks of sheep. Suddenly, an angel of the Lord appeared among them, and the radiance of the Lord’s glory surrounded them. They were terrified, but the angel reassured them. “Don’t be afraid!” he said. “I bring you good news that will bring great joy to all people. The Savior—yes, the Messiah, the Lord—has been born today in