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Another Christmas tree in the bag

It’s hard to believe, but another Christmas has come and gone. It comes so slow but it goes so fast. I guess I’ll never understand that. This Christmas was probably the most unusual I have ever experienced.

When I was young, I remember those first Christmases; They were so slow to get here. I think during the week leading up to Christmas, every day they gained at least 10 new hours. When Christmas Eve came, he was so exhausted waiting that he didn’t know what to do.

I can’t remember my first Christmas because I was only five months old at the time. I have a hard time remembering those first Christmases, but I’m sure they were times of fun and joy. There were no cell phones at the time, so I have no selfies to show.

The day after Christmas, the Gracious Lady of the Parsonage and I were sitting around the Christmas tree drinking our morning cup of coffee. Looking at the tree brought back a lot of memories for both of us. My memories are more shaky than hers, but after all, it’s the memory that counts.

In our stage of life, we are in what is called the empty nest stage, and the house is very quiet. Reflecting on this, I couldn’t help but remember that some of those Christmases were so loud and energetic, I didn’t think Christmas day would ever happen.

Leading up to Christmas in our house was quite interesting. The Graceful Mistress of the Parochial House puts it all together, and she has a plan for it all.

I remember a year trying to help her, and I got in her way. Not only that, but I dropped a couple of the Christmas tree ornaments and they broke. To this day, I have never made up for that.

As we sat around the Christmas tree, I was reminded of a Christmas when I was quite young. This would have been hundreds of years ago, I’m sure. That Christmas, my father gave me a Daisy Red Ryder BB gun. Those were the days when something like this happened.

I have never been so happy with a Christmas present in my entire life. I can’t be sure how many boxes of BB I went through that first month of having it. Nothing was more exciting to me than going out and shooting my BB gun at anything and everything.

I certainly long for those good old days when you could be a man no matter how old or how young you were. A BB gun was a great asset at the time.

I must confess that my BB gun was confiscated in the first few days after Christmas. For some reason, I’m still not sure today, I wasn’t supposed to photograph any windows in the house. I think if I remember correctly, there were three windows that I shot during that episode.

Not only was my BB gun confiscated, but there was a Christmas spanking that accompanied that. I can almost feel the whipping today.

When I got my airgun for Christmas, no one told me there were certain things I wasn’t supposed to shoot. It wasn’t my fault I shot a window. It was my parents’ fault for not telling me not to shoot a window. However, they were not interested in why I shot at the window, only that I shot at the window.

Within a couple of weeks, I had it back and was very careful what I shot from then on. I remember having a great time with him. I wish I had that BB gun now. I often wondered what happened to that BB gun.

I chuckled as I told my wife the story of my BB gun.

As much as I tried, I never got a similar story from my wife. I know there were several, but I could never get her to admit that truth. Of course, she knows that if she had that kind of information she could use it to my advantage.

What I have discovered about wives is that they talk a lot but know when not to talk. As for husbands, they don’t talk much, but they never know when not to talk.

Admiring our Christmas tree this year was a very special moment. In a week or so, that tree would be taken down, the decorations put away, and the tree put back in the attic where we keep it. However, while I was upstairs, it was wonderful to think of all the activities going on around that tree.

Of course, over the years, we have replaced that tree several times. But it is the thought that really matters. All the wonderful stories that come from that tree certainly warm our hearts. We spent some time talking about the gifts we gave and the gifts we received.

As we reminisced, I remembered a Scripture verse that encouraged me.

“I have shown you all things, that with so much labor you must help the weak, and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, who said: It is more blessed to give than to receive” (Acts 20:35).

What really matters is not what you get, but what you give and the reason behind that giving.

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