Growing up in my family – well, what I used to think was "normal" behavior, isn't. I thought my parents were normal. HA! I thought everyone's daddy had redneck ancestry, and everyone's mother looked like Mary Tyler Moore and appeared to have it all together. (She might have had it all together if she weren't married to an ADHD redneck along with two daughters with warped senses of humor.) I thought everyone's Christmases were filled with family and food and laughter and wrapping paper fights, but now I know that's not true, and it makes me appreciate what I had growing up.
Christmas was and is still HUGE at the Timmons' house. Santa Claus came up until the day Lori and I moved out. One year when Lori and I were in upper elementary, I decided to set my alarm, so she and I could wake up about 2 AM and see what Santa brought. We were notorious for waking up very early and then waking up our parents who had probably just gone to bed. Unbeknownst to me or Lori, mom had come into our rooms and unplugged our clocks. I never even heard her do it! But, mom failed to factor in Lori. Did I mention that we had warped senses of humor? Along with that comes some out of the box thinking as well – we like to call it creativity! Before going to bed that night, Lori managed to down four large glasses of water. "WHY?" you ask. Because Lori knew that if she drank that much water she would HAVE to get up in the middle of the night. Yep, the clocks were unplugged, but Lori wasn't. After going to the restroom, she came and woke me up, and we went to discover what Santa Claus brought.
There was one year my mom had done this elaborate hide and seek with Santa's gifts. We started with our stockings and found a poem that contained a clue to the next gift. She had us going into the backyard, out the front door, into the garage – all for the sake of finding the gifts. If someone would have driven by they would have seen two flashlights running throughout the house following the clues -- that moms a clever one.
As Patrick and I get ready for our children this Christmas, I wonder what will they remember. What traditions of ours will they continue? Will they remember the fun times and funny times? Will they remember hearing Santa setting up the toys? (Erin did two years ago and was petrified!) Will they remember finding a torn scrap of Santa's red clothing on our fire grate? Will they remember the time we spend with family? Will they remember the Christmas Eve services?
But most importantly, I wonder what will you do "all for the sake of finding THE GIFT?" This Christmas is special because it is the first year that both of my children will have asked Jesus into their hearts. So when we put baby Jesus into the Nativity in the morning, sing Happy Birthday and we read the Christmas story, I will know that they have the best gift of all. My prayer is that you will too. Merry Christmas.