Merry Christmas!

I love Christmas traditions.

Growing up, one of my family’s traditions was our Christmas Eve party, and I got some of my favorite childhood memories from that. We’d invite a few families and friends over, we’d eat great food, talk, listen to music, play games, maybe watch a movie. One year, we kids put on a lip-sync rendition of “The Twelve Pains of Christmas,” much to everyone’s amusement. Whatever we did, it was always fun.

The height of the party was always the arrival of Santa Claus. We’d each sit in his lap, child and adult alike. He’d hand out bags of treats to the kids, and one of us was lucky enough to be Santa’s Helper. Not that we got anything out of our service, we just wanted to be his helper. The adults would get small, packaged gifts. And one person got a lump of coal. I still remember one Christmas Eve, the last time we were going to see one family of friends for a good long while because they were moving, and as the driving force behind this move was the Missus of the family, she got the coal. 🙂

After the climax, though, my dad would take things down a notch. After we’d sung and eaten and been given treats from Santa, we’d take a moment, before parting, he’d always share a short message about the true meaning of Christmas, which often gets lost in the noise. Then we’d watch this video, produced by my church, depicting the Nativity.

Sure, we’d part ways with our friends, clean up after the party, stay up late, go to bed excited for the morning, and wake up quivering with excitement for the presents upstairs under the tree and the rosy glow of Christmas lights. All of that was magic, and wonder, and happiness. But this… this was going back to the beginning of that magic, remembering and honoring the source, with humility and gratitude.

Christmas, be it glorious, gilded, and loud, or small and humble, is the birthday party of our King.

I hope it’s not too presumptuous of me, but I thought I’d share the video I grew up watching once a year, on Christmas Eve, and wish you all, in deepest sincerity, a Merry Christmas.

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