I’m not sure you have experienced this, but the past two weeks I have heard quite a few people say “I’m just not in the Christmas spirit this year.” Those words always thrust me into the memory of one of my very first encounters with the Spirit of Christmas. I was ten years old.
I remember going with my Dad on Christmas eve to deliver dozens of bags of food and toys our church had put together. I wasn’t given many details, only that Dad and I would be delivering these bags to families in our town who could use them. The truck was loaded and before I knew it, we were slowly pulling in front of a house. Dad winked at me, handed me a couple bags, and quietly we carried them to the door. Most of the time we made two trips. Once the bags were in place, he sent me off to hide and then he would bang on the door. Before anyone could answer, my father was crouched down at my side with a grin on his face. Sometimes, we would hide close enough to see the faces of those who lived there and sometimes we couldn’t, but I do remember vividly the expressions of gratitude and the sounds of joy.
When the deliveries were finally done for the night – and we made a lot of them – my heart felt fuller than it ever had. In fact, just thinking about that 53 year old memory fills my heart all over again.
The true Spirit of Christmas was born in me that night when I experienced what it was we were celebrating. From house to house – heart to heart – one person to another – it was all about God’s love for each and every one of them – without one thought of getting anything in return.
Merry Christmas everyone.