What ARE You Getting For Christmas?


As a little boy in a very poor family living in farm country, then outside of very small towns in south-central Wisconsin I was always in awe at Christmas.

Shiny. Unique and different.

Once each year in the midst of snowdrifts, cold plowed-under fields, disjointed and rarely home at the same time family gathered near our pot-bellied stove by a pine tree trimmed with sparkling ornaments, tinsel and shine.

Well, first it was trying to sleep through extreme wonder and excitement. See, my older sister had her room, my older brother and I shared another upstairs above the living room. These old farmhouses had a floor grate in each through which at least some first floor heat would rise -and by which you could slightly see and sometimes hear.

Down there, just outside of my parents room, our faces against the grate on the floor, my brother and I would try to Sherlock possible clues for what they took all night to assemble below.

Not the whole picture, just clues.

The longer I lived, the more I noticed clues coming my way.

Our family opened all presents only after breakfast first (!) on the morning of Christmas day. Arggghhh… the waiting, longing, excitement and surprise very nearly killed us!

Nobody could even leave the table until all ate the eggs, toast, drank some tea. Slowly. It seemed their coffee poured like molasses! Then- as to near-maniacal horses at a racetrack waiting for the bell my Dad would say “Now! Go slow, take your time!”

Good idea as there were only a handful of gifts per child. Flying paper, shouts of glee, glistening, gushing surprise and joy ensued, parents laughing and fully enjoying the moment.

In those times due to illness, job loss and poverty our birthdays meant a cake and one or two gifts. Christmas was close to heaven with the grandeur and glory.TreeAndWindow

In fact, it always was and is as long as the earth shall endure.

To some. Some.

Oh those blizzards! The massive icicles hanging from the rooftop around our windows. The winter moonlight blue on deep snow. And the beauty, scent of the EVERgreen with all the shine.Christmas Village

It all went away in a week or so.

My family completely disintegrated over a couple of years.

Nothing seemed to matter, to make any difference in my life but my addictions -drugs, sex, booze and music were about all I could depend on just a few years afterward.

Was there anything worth celebrating but pleasure, lust, greed and despair when the living room no longer offered life?

“Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God.”  John. 1.12

When we believe WHO this little child is, we are “born again”… we ourselves become “like a little child” again, innocent, new, REborn, and “the free gift of God is eternal LIFE through Jesus Christ our Lord”.

When you truly know and walk with the Savior and as YOUR Savior and Lord, when you understand what He did on the cross and Easter morning FOR YOU, with YOU in His mind… you have reason to GIVE. You begin to truly give God THANKS regardless of your circumstances, regardless if you’re accepted by others, regardless of your situation.

When we stand before Him what will matter? When each of us as individuals stands before Him WHAT WILL MATTER THEN?!!

Christmas, contrary to culture and pop opinion, is Christ. It is not Republican nor Democrat Christ, but THE baby like yet fully unlike all other babies: The Anointed One, Messiah, “Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace”.

His kingdom never ends. All others do and shall.

THIS is shine without the credits rolling, love eternal, the only life that is life, the Best of the Best.

What do you want for Christmas? WHO do you want for Christmas?? “Ask, seek, knock”.

When you truly know the Risen Jesus Christ, you know Christmas, Easter and heaven in a very, very different light.

A light that will never fade -nor die.

Never will I ever forget my first true Christmas.

He came. Everything changed. Even me.

Merry Christmas -and as always, thanks for stopping by! -Glenn


1 Comment

  1. It’s funny how the wonder of Christmas goes away as you grow older/more cynical. And yet, when you bring Christ, the reason for Christmas back into it, it is a wonder and also reason for excitement on a whole new level! Which also brings back to mind Christ’s words when He talked about child like faith.
    Thanks for sharing this message with us Glenn! Hope you have a wonderful Christmas and amazing new year!

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