My dad was a great man – as tough and strong as they come (a former paratrooper) but as soft as can be. He had inherited from his mum the notion that children can do no wrong – except when they did! Nothing was too much trouble for him on our account – that was his love. For him, Christmas was all about children, and so he made sure that every Christmas was special. He created the best celebration that he could; even when money was tight, he ensured that our stockings were filled and there were always wonderful presents under the tree – the best ones were those he made himself. In doing so, he built for all his children and grandchildren a huge stock of memories which will give us joy and laughter for years to come.
In my later years, however, I realise that what he was really doing was enabling his
children to see the great wonder which is at he heart of the feast – the birth of the
one child that makes the whole world of difference to each of us. The sense of
wonder when we open presents is simply a foretaste of that which we experience
when we ponder the love that God the Father shares when he gives us the greatest present of all – Jesus, his son. In doing so, he has created the best of all possible memories for all his children. But it's a memory which never fades - it grows and grows the more we try to celebrate it. It's a present which takes a lifetime and more to properly unwrap ..... and that's Christmas for me.