I just had the most amazing 4 days off work. Not only did I get to catch up with my old/ex boss (who I miss A LOT!) but I got to give my first Christmas gift, which always makes for a terrific day. I currently am baking MORE cookies (after these past few days, cookies will definitely not be my specialty item to bring to get togethers) to give as another gift tomorrow. That is, if my family doesn't eat all of them first!
Yesterday at church... Well, I should preface this by saying that church during Christmas time is my most favorite time of all. I really make a whole-hearted effort to go to church during Christmastime. Back to yesterday at church... During the service I began thinking back to past Christmases we've had and the funny stories of them. I always imagine telling one of them during the children's minutes of the service and one in particular always sticks out... mainly because it has a great lesson that you can BS into it.
When I was a little girl I wanted this doll for Christmas. That was all I wanted. I wrote to Santa and I told my parents, making sure I had all my bases covered. So a few weeks before Christmas presents started showing up under the tree which led me to do something naughty. I took two gifts (mine of course) from under the tree and sneaked them up to my room to open. In those presents were two dresses for the doll I wanted. I was SO happy! I knew Santa was going to come through for me and had somehow gotten in touch with my parents to let them know that he was bringing me this doll and that they needed to get some clothes for it to prepare for him bringing it.
Christmas morning came and I woke early. It was still dark outside, as it is every Christmas morning in the Morris house. I got excited because I knew that my doll had to be downstairs. I knew that Santa had brought it and it was probably displayed in front of all the gifts for everyone to see. I knew it HAD to be there and that I HAD to go find out that very minute. So I slipped out of bed and tiptoed across my bedroom into the hallway. I crept across the floor to the stairs and slowly slipped down them, careful to avoid the creaky spots. When I got to the bottom of the stairs I peeked around the corner and saw that our living room was all lit up. The tree was lit, the lamps were on and I could see that Santa had been there.
I rushed down the hall to the living room and was ready to see my doll, sitting triumphantly in front of all the other gifts Santa had brought. When I entered the room I stopped dead in my tracks. My doll wasn't there! I glanced around the room, thinking maybe she was somewhere else, but she wasn't. There was no doll. I felt all happiness slowly drain from me as I turned from the room and walked slowly back to the stairs. How could my doll not be there? Why had Santa let me down?
Once I was back in my room I climbed back into my bed and laid there thinking to myself. Why didn't I see my doll? My parents had bought those dresses; didn't Santa tell them he was bringing me a doll? Why didn't he bring her? Maybe I had missed her? Maybe Santa made a mistake and put her in with my brother's gifts? Hope re-entered my body and I decided then and there I was going to find that doll.
I once again slipped out of my bed and made my way to the living room. I searched hard, through my brother's gifts and through mine. But still no doll. I wasn't getting her for Christmas. I climbed back up the stairs and, by this time, my parents had woken up. I guess I wasn't as quiet as I thought. When they saw my devastated face they asked me what was wrong. Tearfully I told them that Santa hadn't brought me my doll. Christmas was ruined.
We woke my brother and went downstairs to open gifts. Santa, man that he is, had brought us lots of great gifts. We had fun playing with them, opening our stockings and then moving on to the gifts under the tree. When it was all over (still no doll) I sat back, still disappointed but happy enough with my gifts. But then my parents pointed out that there was still one gift left.
There was a single box, wrapped up tightly and hidden way behind the tree. I went to pull it out and, lo and behold, it was for me! I carefully unwrapped it, not knowing what on earth it could be. It wasn't my doll, of course. That was Santa's job and he had failed. Miserably.
I pulled back the paper and there, underneath the bright wrapping paper, was the chestnut brown box that I immediately recognized. It couldn't be... it was! It was my doll! It wasn't brought with great fanfare; it wasn't displayed triumphantly for all to see. It was simply wrapped up, hidden away behind the tree for me to discover.
This really is my favorite Christmas story. The funniest part of it - which would never actually be told to the kids - was that I forgot to RETURN the gifts I had opened earlier and had to run and go get them on Christmas morning and tell my parents what I had done. Believe me... that was just the beginning of me opening presents beforehand. Which is why my parents only put out the crappy gifts for me now before Christmas morning.
This story, and the way I imagine I would share it at church, makes me think of Jesus' coming and how everyone believed he would come with a lot of fanfare but instead he came quietly and was wrapped tightly and hidden in a manger for everyone to discover.
And, if you want to go a little deeper into the symbolism, the angels had to tell the shepherds where Jesus was. My parents had to tell me where the gift was. So, symbolically, my parents are my angels. Although, I really think they sometimes are.
So that's my Christmas story... And as for #6 on the list, I've finished Chapter 1 and have started on Chapter 2! Of course, there's no proofreading, but that'll come later!