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The nightmare after Christmas (standard:Inspirational stories, 908 words)
Author: GodspenmanAdded: Dec 20 2009Views/Reads: 1542/0Story vote: 0.00 (0 votes)
Technically, Christmas is over... all over our living room floor, that is. Piles of wrapping paper in this corner and empty boxes in that corner and colorful ribbons from here to there, all evidence that Christmas must have been a success this year.
 



Technically, Christmas is over... all over our living room floor, that
is. Piles of wrapping paper in this corner and empty boxes in that 
corner and colorful ribbons from here to there, all evidence that 
Christmas must have been a success this year. 

I was reclining in my chair, sipping a nice cup of hot chocolate while
the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage was cleaning up the kitchen. 
Both of us in our own little world were reveling over the past 
Christmas holiday. For us it is such a nice time of the year when 
families get together and just enjoy the season. 

My wife and I have come through a variety of phases when it comes to
Christmas. 

Phase one; we spent our first Christmas in our own little apartment.
Married only six months all we had was each other. I must confess this 
was the cheapest Christmas we ever had. All I had to do was buy one 
Christmas present for my new bride. 

Phase two; it was not long until the sound of little feet pattering down
the hallway changed our Christmas forever. In a few years, we had 
approximately three children, I say approximately because they ate like 
a herd of elephants. I know, I had to pay the grocery bill. But 
Christmas at that time were wonderful events of excitement and 
surprises. Christmas was now becoming a more expensive item in our 
family budget. 

Phase three; is where we are at now. The children are all grown up and
have children of their own. Now it is time for the grandchildren to 
come storming through the front door and be amazed by all of the gifts 
underneath the Christmas tree. It is almost like reliving your 
childhood. 

Christmas gets more expensive as we get older. I am looking forward to
that phase of senility when I do not know what is happening or how much 
things are costing. 

I must say that I enjoyed each phase at the time. Each phase seemed to
get better and better. 

Those who opposed the Christmas season must not have enjoyed the
Christmases such as my wife and I have enjoyed. Having wiggly, squiggly 
and giggly grandchildren all over the living room floor opening up 
their gifts and making a mess is an experience no one should miss. 

As I was pondering our past Christmas, I thought about how much goes in
the preparing for Christmas. There is the shopping... the parties... 
the wrapping of presents. Reflecting on the past Christmas it came to 
my mind that we often spend too much, eat too much and laugh too much 
on our way to Christmas day. So much is put into getting ready for 
Christmas that there is a great let down the day after Christmas. 

There is no silence quite as loud as the silence that dominates the
house the day following Christmas. 

I used to think that good old St. Nick had the most difficult job in the
world. I often wondered how he ever accomplished all that he did on 
Christmas. After all, he has to make the stuff, pack the stuff, ship 
the stuff and then stuff himself down a chimney. Not to mention that he 
usually stuffs himself with Christmas cookies. The difference between 
Christmas cookies and other cookies is that Christmas cookies have no 
calories. 

But I got to thinking. Santa Claus has the easiest job in the world. He
does not have to stick around the day after Christmas. He does not have 
to worry if people liked what they got for Christmas. Nor, does he have 
to contend with returning gifts. I never know what to get anybody. 

Then my mind traveled in the direction of my purchases this past
Christmas. What was the condition of my credit card? I used it so much 
this Christmas that it was at the brink of a meltdown. I pulled it out 
my wallet, and unless my mind was playing tricks on me, it did feel a 
little warm. 

I had a little frightening thought. Did I write down all my purchases in
my checkbook? I must confess that my shopping is usually a 
receipt-challenged experience. I have no idea what happens to my 
receipts once I purchase an item. What if somebody wanted to return one 
of my gifts? How would they do it without a receipt? 

Then I revisited my thoughts about good old St. Nick. Perhaps he was
wiser than I gave him credit for at the time. His job was simply to 
bring Christmas into the home. He did not worry about if he got the 
right present for the right person or not. Sure, he had a list but he 
only checked it twice. Then he forgot about it. 

Christmas is not for fretting and worrying about if you got the right
present for the right person. Rather, Christmas is to enjoy the 
experience of simply giving. Not so much what you give, as it is the 
act of giving itself. 

Actually, it was God who set a standard for Christmas. The Bible tells
us, "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, 
that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting 
life" (John 3:16 KJV). 

Setting back in my easy chair with my hot chocolate, I exchanged the
nightmare for the satisfaction I felt in giving to people I loved. 


   


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