Tuesday, December 21, 2010
Christmas was always an important part of my family. There are so many fond memories that I have of Christmas I could write a book on just that topic.
Like most kids my age, it was not the norm to get toys throughout the year. We might get something once in a while, but it was rare, and it was something very inexpensive. But at Christmas, we were always blessed with the joy of toys, clothes, and all sorts of gifts. I don't think we were spoiled, we were just fortunate to have parents that made every effort to make Christmas as special as possible. Regardless of what we got, we thought it was the greatest gift anyone could have gotten. I remember the Christmas I got my first bike, it was metallic blue. Travis and I got an Atari the Christmas before everybody in the world got one. That Christmas is an especially wonderful memory that I am so grateful for. The year before that Christmas was probably the hardest year financially that my mother and father ever went through but they still managed to make Christmas spectacular. I asked my Granny Ferrell to wake me up after Santa Claus left and about 3:30 A.M., she did! When I turned 16, I got a candy apple red, 67, fastback Mustang. That memory is so fond because my entire family hid at my house on Christmas eve to surprise me. I had the flu and I was really sick. Before I went to bed, deddy asked me to go help him do something for Travis. When I got out to our shop, my whole family turned the lights on and screamed "Merry Christmas"!. There were 2 reasons I got that car: deddy found it by luck, and he got a deal. I really had no idea and I freaked out. To even things out, Travis got a golf cart and they had a blast with that thing for the many years!
Although we did get several presents for Christmas, Travis and I were always grateful. We were taught to appreciate everything we got, no matter how big or small, and that is exactly what we have always done.
The thing about Christmas for me more than anything is that for just a little while, the world seems a little better. Sure, you see people having meltdowns while shopping, but I guess people just become stressed out. Every year, I make a point to go shopping somewhere after I have bought all of my gifts. Why do I do this? Honestly, just out of meanness! You see people shopping that look like they have not slept in 3 weeks, their clothes are wadded up, and their hair looks like it has forgotten to partner with a hairbrush. I love to see the idiots on TV every year that say "I don't start shopping until Christmas Eve!" Can you imagine some of the crap they buy! But even so, the world settles down and has some peace, quiet, and fellowship.
I always appreciate my family and friends more at Christmas. You can forgive someone a little more at Christmas. You are more grateful for just about everything at Christmas. Its just a special time of the year. I always think about how grateful I am for everything. I was born to parents that loved me, I was blessed with a brother that I am close to, I still have both grandmas, I have family and friends that I can always depend on, and I have a wonderful wife that supports me and loves me in every way. I think about deddy a lot at Christmas too. He always enjoyed the holidays so much and I appreciate that more the older I get.
It is really easy to become complacent in our lives and not appreciate what we do have. I'm not pointing the finger at anyone, because I think we all do it. I think Christmas slows us down enough to actually realize the blessings we do have. I have watched an entire industry go through a complete meltdown the last 3 years. I have seen guys that I respect file bankruptcy, switch careers, or just retire. But at the end of the day, I honestly still have so much to be grateful for.
I think Christmas reminds us of the good things in our lives. Because of a child being born in a manger, we have all been given hope. Because that baby grew into a man and gave his life for all of us, we all have an opportunity to be forgiven and ascend into Heaven. That in itself, is enough to be grateful for. So, when the evening gets quiet, and you are reflecting on the day, family, and friends....don't forget the true reason of Christmas.
I wish all of you a very Merry Christmas and a wonderful new year. I pray that each of you find joy through the holidays. But besides the presents, and parties, and gatherings, I hope you all find a sense of peace and appreciation for just how wonderful Christmas really is.