Christmas for Families
By the Rev. Dr. Ed and Janice Hird
Deep Cove Crier/North Shore News December, 1988
As a child, the most exciting time of year for me was Christmas time. Naturally presents decorated in beautiful green and red satin paper were what I looked forward to. My brother and I would carefully count the presents under the tree to see who had more! Obviously, we thought, the other person had more. And then! Christmas Day the biggest, most expensive present was the one we liked the best. Now, of course, I realize that it really is the thought that counts and not the price tag.
Decorating for Christmas was always a wonderful time in our house. First we would go buy a real tree at the tree lot, set it up in the window, and start decorating. Not only did we decorate the tree but my dad also put miniature lights around this huge mirror and set up the angels dancing around the candle chimes. My little brother’s eyes would glow when we turned off the normal lighting and just left the Christmas lights on in the living room. What a beautiful sight!
As a child, I loved the presents, the lights, the turkey, and the tinsels, but I couldn’t understand why my mom would try to spoil a good holiday by trying to drag me to church. To me, that was going a little far! As I grew older, the delight of Christmas faded bit by bit, year by year. I wondered what was wrong, and decided that the problem must be that my parents weren’t spending as much money on me as before In fact, my presents cost them far more than I would have imagined. Eventually I became cynical about Christmas and wrote it off as commercial exploitation.
At age 17, I met some friends who had a joy and inner peace that really attracted me to them, Christmas still excited them. I asked them: “Why?” They told me they were excited about a child in a manger. At age 17, I too came to know that child. I made a manger for Him in my heart. Once again Christmas stirred within me “Peace on Earth, Good will to Men” Once again I could sing “Joy to the World” and really mean it. Our Christmas prayer is that all those reading this article feel the peace of that little baby lying in the manger.
The Rev. Dr. Ed and Janice Hird, BMus. (BSW, MDiv, DMin)
-award-winning author of the book Battle for the Soul of Canada
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