December 26, 2012
Just wrapped up another lovely Christmas with my family. I love Christmas time in the Huckaby house. I love how Daddy puts up the biggest living tree he can find and tangles up as many colored lights in it as possible. I love pulling out all the same Christmas decorations over and over and driving home from finals to see the house from the road with the spotlights revealing wreaths and candles in every window. I love shopping with my mama in the weeks before and waging war on Black Friday with Nadia. I love the Christmas parties and listening to Daddy read Twas the Night Before Christmas in all our fun versions. I can’t get enough of Christmas Vacation or of the Alabama Christmas album.
I especially love Christmas Eve, singing Silent Night by candlelight and never growing up enough to stop playing with the wax. And then riding through the woods to Grandmama’s house for dinner with the Potts family. And finally sitting by the fire before midnight to read the real Christmas story and the original Twas the Night Before Christmas before slowly drifting to bed.
Of course Christmas day is full of gifts from our parents who have spoiled us rotten over the years with every toy or technology we could ever want. And a new journal from Daddy each year that might last me until next December, but probably not. We never leave the house on Christmas because we have everyone we need right here.
Last year there was a bit of unspoken bittersweetness in the air at this time. It’s hard to ignore when you’re constantly getting less than optimistic news from doctors. But God has heard our prayers and Dad gave us another special Christmas this year, although having him around is worth more than everything under the tree.
We learned not to take our mama’s and our daddy’s for granted. The funny thing about these lessons, though, is that we oftentimes still miss the big picture. I forgot that we don’t always get warnings about when you get to spend your last Christmas with someone.
We sure have been missing Uncle Eddie during this holiday season, but we didn’t let last Christmas be his last. Our gifts reflected him. We watched a beautiful video tribute that had been made for him. Mostly, we were grateful for the gift he has been to us over the years.
We are not the only family missing someone tonight. There were many families in Connecticut that Santa didn’t get to visit this year. And families who spent the day in the hospital. Or those with loved ones stationed across the world in order to gift us with freedom.
Which brings me to the thing I love most about Christmas. We spend a month buying and wrapping gifts for our families. We enjoy the love of those God has placed in our lives. But while these things will come and go year to year, the original Christmas gift will never be taken away and will never lose its meaning. We celebrate because God gave us a Son that would one day bear all of the pain so that we no longer have to. And when we accept that gift, it can’t be returned or lost. It’s the gift of hope and joy that we will never have a “last Christmas” because we will one day join the multitude of hosts to celebrate Jesus for an eternity together with our brothers and sisters who have gone before and will follow.
“Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests.”
Merry Christmas, y’all. I hope yours was filled with peace and with joy as ours was.
Let’s all try to smile for the picture
And we’ll hold it as long as we can
May it carry us through
Should we ever get lonely
‘Til the season comes ’round again