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Christmas Past

December 23, 2010

Greetings to all in blog world. Merry Christmas to you.

I am dedicating this post to past Christmases. As is inevitable, the mind turns to the past to reflect on tradition, gifts, and the meaning of Christmas. Growing up, the Christmas season was one of excitement. Our family tradition, and i’m not sure how this ever got started, but as long as i can remember, our tradition has involved a few steps.

  1. A Christmas meal around 4:00 or 5:00 on Christmas Eve.
  2. The Christmas program at Church on Christmas Eve.
  3. Snacks and a load of chocolate after said program, still on Christmas Eve.
  4. #4 hasn’t happened in a few years, but we used to come home after the Christmas Program, and after coffee and chocolate were all ready, read the Christmas story from the book of Luke. Not the whole story, but enough of it. (What is amazing, and slightly funny, is that the Christmas Program that we just came home from will most certainly have had all the elements of the Christmas story from Luke in it. The church i went to growing up had a program that involved a bunch of singing, and a whole mess of recitals from the kids. They would memorize various portions of scripture, line up in a neat row by the class they were in, and slowly make their way through the passage, a few verses at a time according to what verses each kid got.) Anyway, we would re-read the story again, as though we had forgotten it during the walk home. Yes, walk home. We only lived a half block from the church, so it’s not like we had to wait eons to get home. Nope. A two minute walk was enough to forget the story. I think mom and dad were just trying to delay the gift opening as long as possible.
  5. Open presents on Christmas Eve.
  6. Stay up as late as possible. I should qualify this statement though, because the ‘rent did not want us staying up late. We just did. And we got in trouble for it too.
  7. Sleep in Christmas Day, then have breakfast and do nothing the rest of the day.

Yep. That’s the tradition that has been held at the Kehler household for as long as i can remember.

I like thinking about those times past. My parents were awesome then, and they are still awesome now. They didn’t have a whole bunch of money when we were growing up. I can remember some very stressful times that they struggled to make ends meet. But we always had food on the table, a roof over our heads, and clothes on our back. And, every Christmas, presents under the tree. I know they sacrificed a lot for us when we were young, and that is not lost on me. One particular Christmas will always stand out in my mind though. I’m sure we all have one of those Christmases that stand out. Well, this was mine. For two days before Christmas we were not allowed to go into the basement at home. We had to sleep upstairs, because the presents did not fit under the tree. On Christmas Eve, after all the tradition, we were allowed to go downstairs. Remembering the sacrifice mom and dad made for us, they bought us an air hockey table, a pool table, and a pin-ball machine. I’m not talking about those cheap imitation, 10 games in one kind of things. No. A full size pool table. A descent sized air hockey table. And a real, put the quarters in to make it play, pin-ball machine. I know Christmas isn’t about the presents. It’s not about shopping and all that stuff. But if there ever was a Christmas that i remember because of the presents, it is this one. Not only was it a real, put the quarters in to make it play pin-ball machine, it was a Spiderman, put the quarters in to make it play pin-ball machine. Best present we ever got as kids. here it is.

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