Growing up, Christmas was always special in the Curtis’ household. Two weeks before, we bought our tree at the local park, usually accompanied by a snowball fight (for you Floridians, “snow” is that magical, white stuff that gently floats down from the sky somewhere “up north” in the vicinity of Canada, I believe, where it actually gets cold but we only experience vicariously, generally through a Christmas Hallmark movie).
We would decorate the tree with real, colored light bulbs (about the size and color of pomegranates, as I recall) and enough tinsel to aid global warming (caution: never turn on the living room lights without donning proper UV-rated sunglasses!).
We spent a delightful Christmas Eve with my grandparents, who would take turns recounting their missionary journeys in China before pirates invaded and pushed them out in 1927, while enjoying Chinese cabbage, rutabaga, and beef tongue–no joke! But we loved it. All of it!
Christmas morning was spent reading the Christmas story and raiding Santa’s sleigh. Six kids, go figure! My grandparents would arrive and the gift opening continued… sigh, the memories of a child with a dash of Whoville thrown in.
Christmas as a Dad
When I married and started my own family, my wife and I wanted to change some of the traditions we’d grown up with. For starters, no tinsel has ever garnished our live trees (who ever heard of ice sickles in Florida!), and nearly all the ornaments are handmade. We also decided to tone down the gift-giving, at least eventually. Perhaps what helped convince us the most on this last point was spending $50 on a child’s gift only to watch them play with its box instead!
But the most significant change has come in how we celebrate. Our December has been filled with Christmas devotions and worship, special family moments, and celebrating with close friends. Come Christmas morn for about half an hour, we read the Christmas story from Luke 2 interspersed with a dozen Christmas carols. We love it. All of it!
We try hard to keep Christ at the center of Christmas, to celebrate the birth of this king “born for all mankind.”
With this same attitude of a Christ-filled celebration, we wish you all a very Merry Christmas! Blessings to you and your family and friends!