When I was somewhere around age five, I was given a tent that I’ve never forgotten. Looking back, it wasn’t the tent that has embedded such a vivid memory, although through my young boy eyes, the tent was pretty neat at the time. I built it immediately - setting up camp in the family room. My parents probably bought it hoping I would stop building living room forts with the couch cushions.
I assume most people have at least one childhood Christmas memory that stands out from all the rest. For me this was the one. The year of the Christmas tent, and although it was a long time ago, I remember setting up the tent and then asking dad and mom the big Christmas Eve question: “Dad, Mom, can I sleep in the tent tonight in the the living room?” We did family gifts on Christmas Eve, but Santa always came the night of Christmas Eve. If I could talk my parents into letting me sleep in the new tent in the living room, I would be able to see the big guy, Santa Claus. I wasn’t afraid of Santa, I was a huge fan!
Two shocks came that night: first, my parents said yes, and second, Santa did come that night, but I slept through his whole visit. I slept a few feet from the fireplace, tree and stockings and never woke up. I couldn’t believe I slept right through his visit. I guess the song is right: he knows when you’re sleeping, he knows when you’re awake. But what makes this memory so special to me was even though I didn’t see him that night, he still came. The evidence was under the tree, in my Christmas stocking and cookies and milk I left out were totally gone.
Today I celebrate the truest joy of Christmas: Jesus came to earth and the evidence is even more undeniable. I see Him in changed lives, in people who have real joy even in tough situations. I experience Him in the peace that surpasses understanding. I see Jesus in people that express his warmth and love to me and my family. Come to think of it, my best Christmas is now, knowing that the Savior is real and He came to show us the way!
Merry Christmas to all!
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