We are coming to the Christmas Season so I thought I would write about our family traditions…
Let me start with growing up in the 70’s…my parents did not have extra money for Christmas gifts. Christmas was a tough time for them. I remember getting a bag of Doritos and a can of Spaghettios and Meatballs for a Christmas gift. I will never forget my maternal Grandmother was coming from Tennessee for Christmas. Brian and I knew she would bring gifts so we were excited she was coming. She brings this HUGE gift into the house, but only one. We were used to sharing things – we were poor and only 11 months apart in age…we were just happy to be receiving something. Christmas morning came and we were super excited. Grandma said, “There are two gifts in the box and before you open the box if you can guess what’s in it you get BOTH presents.” We both guessed…we were both wrong. Being the eldest I was allowed to open the present…just to find another wrapped box. We both guessed again…both wrong. We repeated this many more times…until we got down to a box as big as a shoebox. Grandma said, “Neither of you guessed correctly so when you open this box you both will have a gift.” We literally tore the box open to find two boxes of long stick matches…perfect for lighting our wood stove.
As a child I was disappointed in Christmas every year – it was never very special for me – until l had children of my own. To watch my boys get excited for Christmas and their gifts is enough for me. My wife, Mary, was the one who always kept it about Jesus and family. We had a blast playing tricks on each other. One year the boys wanted a dog so badly…really, it’s all they talked about. Mary and I purchased a stuffed animal of a dog…I put it on newspaper in my bedroom and after they opened gifts I said “There is one more gift, Boys. I know you have been asking for this for a long time. It’s your responsibility to feed it, clean up after it…” They were literally jumping up and down with excitement. “Where is it? Where is it?” They were yelling. I said, “Last time I saw it was in my bedroom.” They took off like lighting only to find that stuffed dog. They always got me back. One year I wanted a Motorcycle and Mary had been acting strange about it. Christmas came and all the gifts were opened and she said “There is one more gift.” The boys said “Yes, and it’s for you, Dad.” Mary said “It is parked in the driveway, but you have to promise to put newspaper under it in the driveway.” I said, “Ok, I promise.” We all ran to the front door…only to look out and see a model sized motorcycle on a single piece of newspaper. I nearly cried.
All this talk of Christmas past has made me think of how much I love and enjoy my family. We are so blessed to now have two beautiful granddaughters to share Christmas with. Christ came for us…and I am so glad he did! Writing this also has made me remember I have yet to get even for the Motorcycle gift. I am going to close now and take all their gifts back to the store…that will be a surprise, wont it?
Merry Christmas and God Bless,
Jim and Mary Hutson