Another Christmas Memory

Thursday, December 11, 2014

What is a Christmas story? To me, a Christmas story can be anything from a family memory to a tradition, a miracle, or a realization. It's something that can be shared with others in the light of the holiday spirit. Being brought up on a Lutheran background, I celebrate Christmas for the biblical reasons as well as the "social society" reasons. Sometimes I don't understand why people praise Christmas if they don't believe in the real reason behind Christmas celebrations. I was brought up on the idea that Jesus was born on Christmas day which is what makes it so unique. At the same time I am not opposed to the Macys specials that go along with that celebration. Anyways, I remember that even if people don't celebrate the holiday season for the reasons I do doesn't mean they're wrong. As long as people are loving and giving it makes the holiday season that much more meaningful.

You see so many acts of kindness during this time of year, and it just warms my heart. I'm going to tell you one of my favorite Christmas stories. It's more of a Christmas memory.

I want to say about 8-10 years ago, I was 11, and my brother was 9 or so. We were in the midst of our elementary days and going to a year-round school. Our track break was about the length of November a little into December.
My mom had just started student teaching, and when you're student teaching, you do a whole semester of teaching without getting paid. It's just part of the deal. So, not only was my mom not working for a whole semester, but no one was home to watch Zach and me during our track break. My dad had to work, and my mom had to go to school.

Zach and I were not too young but not old enough to be at home for 8 hours a day by ourselves (which is the "free" alternative) we were enrolled in recreation program at the community center. We had a blast there. We go to play games, eat snacks and be kids with other kids.

But, before all of this was accomplished I remember brief conversations between my parents about what the best option was financially and for safety. These discussions were hushed, but I knew the struggle was a little more robust than we had anticipated.

Once we got closer to the end of our track break, I remember one of my parents telling me that Christmas was going to be a little tight this year. Our more significant bills are always due in December, and our out of town relatives wanted us to go up and visit, there was just a lot.

Fast forwarding to Christmas break, recreation center time is over, moms student teaching is done, and shes picked out a school to begin working at, and Christmas morning has come upon us.

I remember waking up and going downstairs that Christmas and seeing so many presents and so much Christmas joy. As an 11 year old, I was so giddy about the morning already, but it meant a lot to me that even though that was a tough time for our family to go through financially, we pulled through.

Ten years later talking about this I couldn't tell you if it was a lot of presents or just the fact that I learned that Christmas is not about the gifts, they're just a bonus. What I think for an 11-year-old to grasp that concept is a big step in life.

So, mom and dad, this one is for you. Thanks for always making Christmas so special for Zach and I. I know we have supportive family members, and I'm glad we can bring Christmas cheer into others lives, while still keeping it with us as well.

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