Christmas is a very special time of year for me. My favorite present came one on two wheels… We’d asked for new bikes one year growing up, but my parents really didn’t have the money for them. (I don’t think I’ve ever had a brand new bike, to this day. But at that point, we’d had hand-me-downs, and the bike I was riding at the time had been Mom’s when she was my age.) Mom and Dad locked us out of the basement that year, and we tried and tried to sneak a peak at and eavesdrop on what might be happening there. Christmas morning, we got the bikes we wanted. Mom and Dad had found some bikes being thrown away, took them home, and spent days cleaning and repainting them and rebuilding the pieces into “new” shiny bikes for us. That was the best present I ever got, I think, but it wasn’t the bike that meant so much, it was the excitement and curiosity leading up to it, and the fact that it was built with so much love.
Two years ago, I got a different sort of gift around the Christmas season, though at first I didn’t consider it a gift at all. Two years ago right before Christmas I left what many would consider a cult. That year, I went to the living nativities, cantatas, and candle light services that had been banned in the group I left. Last year, for the first time in twenty years, I had a Christmas tree. (Well… four, actually!) I had lights, outside and inside the house. That year and every year now, December is filled with seasonal activities… live nativities, “Bethlehem Revisited”, Christmas songs at every church I visited, Christmas trees, wreaths, lights, parades, Christmas music and Christmas movies… Christmas means a whole lot to me, and the ancient words, “For unto us is born this day… a Savior” have taken on new beauty.
This year, again, I’ll celebrate. Celebrate the birth of our Savior 2000 years ago, and celebrate His rebirth in my life 2 years ago, as well. It’s a most wonderful time of the year!