Friday, December 10, 2010

Christmas Presents....

Over the years, our country has allowed Christmas Day to evolve into a shameful orgy of gift-giving.  I don't think I know anyone who would disagree with this.  Of course, I freely admit that for many years I was a part of the problem.  If you have children, you want them to feel the love of the holiday, and you do not want them to be looked upon as less fortunate than their friends.

Fortunately, I am older now, and (hopefully) wiser.  All those gifts we gave our children over the years did not in any way make them better people or, more importantly, bring them closer to God or foster a relationship with Jesus.

To this day, I recall the Christmas of 1954.  I was ten years old.  And my parents, trying their best to make sure I had a wonderful day, spent much more money than they could afford to give me a great Christmas.  They gave me a set of World Book encyclopedias.  I later found out that this set of books cost them $100.  This was a very large amount of money 56 years ago.  There were other gifts, as well.  I thought I had a very nice Christmas until I went outside and found out that my friend Walter had got a football and a BB gun; and my friend Tony had got a baseball, bat and glove.  In my wisdom and maturity I stomped inside the house and informed my parents that I had been "gypped".  My dad would have killed me on the spot if my mom had not intervened.

Years later, I asked my dad what kind of gifts his family gave each other when he was a boy.  He said they usually gave things like fruit---apples, oranges and bananas and such.  He said they had wonderful Christmases back then, and no one even thought about gifts that much.  The day was more about Jesus and celebrating Him.

My, how far we've come!  Here is hoping we can begin to return to celebrating Christmas for the right reasons. 

The fact is, I neither need nor want anything for Christmas in the way of gifts.  Most of the people I know have no real needs, either.  The bottom line for me is this:  God has given me far more in this world than I deserve, and I shall be thanking Him for that on Christmas Day, just as I do every other day.


  1. I am pleased, if I can make a joy for my family and if my children about the gifts to be pleased. It should remain however with a little thing.
    Many Greetings Sabine

  2. A wonderful blog with an important message. The most wonderful things I remember are just being with family ... and all the good food! I also loved our little Christmas play at church. Today I am thankful for you, good health and our families.

  3. I don't care about gifts that much, too!
    I think that Christmas is a celebration for the soul, first of all!
    Have a great weekend, both of you!
    Best regards!

  4. Very interesting life stories and a nice final message. Content to read your blog!

  5. Dad, I always loved Christmas and I still want to! (haha) As a kid I enjoyed opening the gifts and it was so exciting believing in Santa. I remember the lemonade stand Diane and I got one year and we had a blast with that thing.
    It left me with good memories playing with sis (when we weren't fighting...hehe). I remember the electric snoopy toothbrush I loved too and when I wasn't using him, he slept on top of his little doghouse:-) Snoopy contributed to the healthy teeth I have today :-)

    I enjoyed going to grandma's on Christmas Eve and when riding back home at night I would gaze out the window into the sky thinking one of the stars was actually Santa in the distance. I remember you telling me about news reports that Santa had been spotted in another state so we had to hurry home to get in bed.

    I love the movie Chevy Chase Christmas vacation because you remind me so much of Chevy Chase...(in all aspects really) One incident I remember was when I found you and a neighbor outside taking the seats out of the car...I questioned what you were doing and you told me to go play. Maybe this is when you started looking at Christmas as not being any more fun (lol). I found out later you & mom bought Diane a hamster for Christmas but on the way home, the hamster chewed his way out of the box and went MIA. You were looking everywhere in the car for that rodent. I remember you talking to God a lot that day too (Haha) So, you bought a replacement hamster. Diane was excited Santa gave her a hamster; she named it Herman. A week later when the glove box was opened in the car...Helen was found chewing through the car manual. 1 hamster + 1 hamster = 2 hamsters & grumpy dad. LOL

    Now that I am older, I feel the pressures of Christmas that I never felt as an innocent and carefree child. I love the childhood you and mom gave me. I love the spirit of Christmas. Like most people, I did not learn until later that the things most important in life are not material things but love, family, and friendship.

    I want to tell you that I love you and I miss you. Thank you for all the wonderful holiday memories!

  6. Skully---What great memories! What great laughs to recall these moments so many years later. I remember carving the turkey every year in the kitchen and feeding the skin to whatever dog we had at the time. I recall the time Janet gave me some handkerchiefs monogrammed with an "E" and I regifted them on the spot to my dad. No one spoke to me for two weeks afterward (Like you, I have always been the Black Sheep, and I wouldn't trade it for the world).

    Then there was the time Cathy bought a large toy (I forget what it was), but when she got home and spent 3 terrible hours trying to put the thing together, found out it did not have the right parts to complete the job. And with all that was going on on Christmas eve, we had to take the damn thing back and get another gift that was already constructed. From that day forward, The rule was "NO GIFTS SHALL BE PURCHASED THAT ARE NOT ALREADY PUT TOGETHER".

    I don't have enough time to list all the memories. But I am extremely happy that you have a bunch of good ones. It's enough to make an old geezer cry.

  7. Amen, Clint. What a great post. I hope that this country turns around and returns to Him. Lord knows, we need to!

    Have a BLESSED Christmas! :D